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.
- auditory processing
- visual processing