Auditory temporal pattern discrimination and reading ability

Ken I. McAnally*, Anne Castles, Susan Bannister

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The relation between reading ability and performance on an auditory temporal pattern discrimination task was investigated in children who were either good or delayed readers. The stimuli in the primary task consisted of sequences of tones, alternating between high and low frequencies. The threshold interstimulus interval (ISI) for discrimination of differences in the temporal properties of the sequences was measured. An ISI threshold was also measured in a control task that was identical to the primary task, except all tones in a control sequence had the same frequency. Delayed readers and good readers were equally able to discriminate the timing of the sequences at short ISIs, for both the primary and control tasks. Furthermore, the ISI thresholds were not correlated with the ability to read either irregular words or nonwords. These results suggest that reading ability is not related to the ability to track large and rapid frequency changes in auditory temporal patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory attention
  • Auditory stream segregation
  • Dyslexia
  • Hearing


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