Maturation of visual and auditory temporal processing in school-aged children

Piers Dawes*, Dorothy V.M. Bishop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To examine development of sensitivity to auditory and visual temporal processes in children and the association with standardized measures of auditory processing and communication. 

Methods: Normative data on tests of visual and auditory processing were collected on 18 adults and 98 children aged 6-10 years of age. Auditory processes included detection of pitch from temporal cues using iterated rippled noise and frequency modulation detection at 2 Hz, 40 Hz, and 240 Hz. Visual processes were coherent form and coherent motion detection. Test-retest data were gathered on 21 children. 

Results: Performance on perceptual tasks improved with age, except for fine temporal processing (iterated rippled noise) and coherent form perception, both of which were relatively stable over the age range. Within-subject variability (as assessed by track width) did not account for age-related change. There was no evidence for a common temporal processing factor, and there were no significant associations between perceptual task performance and communication level (Children's Communication Checklist, 2nd ed.; D. V. M. Bishop, 2003) or speech-based auditory processing (SCAN-C; R. W. Keith, 2000). 

Conclusions: The auditory tasks had different developmental trajectories despite a common procedure, indicating that age-related change was not solely due to responsiveness to task demands. The 2-Hz frequency modulation detection task, previously used in dyslexia research, and the visual tasks had low reliability compared to other measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1015
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • maturation
  • auditory processing
  • visual processing
  • attention


Dive into the research topics of 'Maturation of visual and auditory temporal processing in school-aged children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this