The North American listening in spatialized noise - Sentences test (NA LiSN-S): Normative data and test-retest reliability studies for adolescents and young adults

David K. Brown, Sharon Cameron, Jeffrey S. Martin, Charlene Watson, Harvey Dillon

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    Background: The Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences test (LiSN-S; Cameron and Dillon, 2009) was originally developed to assess auditory stream segregation skills in children aged 6 to 11 yr with suspected central auditory processing disorder. The LiSN-S creates a three-dimensional auditory environment under headphones. A simple repetition-response protocol is used to assess a listener's speech reception threshold (SRT) for target sentences presented in competing speech maskers. Performance is measured as the improvement in SRT in dB gained when either pitch, spatial, or both pitch and spatial cues are incorporated in the maskers. A North American-accented version of the LiSN-S (NA LiSN-S) is available for use in the United States and Canada. Purpose: To develop normative data for adolescents and adults on the NA LiSN-S, to compare these data with those of children aged 6 to 11 yr as documented in Cameron et al (2009), and to consolidate the child, adolescent, and adult normative and retest data to allow the software to be used with a wider population. Research Design: In a descriptive design, normative data and test-retest reliability data were collected. Study Sample: One hundred and twenty normally hearing participants took part in the normative data study (67 adolescents aged 12 yr, 1 mo, to 17 yr, 10 mo, and 53 adults aged 19 yr, 10 mo, to 30 yr, 30 mo). Forty-nine participants returned between 1 and 4 mo after the initial assessment for retesting. Participants were recruited from sites in Cincinnati, Dallas, and Calgary. Results: When combined with data collected from children aged 6 to 11 yr, a trend of improved performance as a function of increasing age was found across performance measures. ANOVA (analysis of variance) revealed a significant effect of age on performance. Planned contrasts revealed that there were no significant differences between adults and children aged 13 yr and older on the low-cue SRT; 14 yr and older on talker and spatial advantage; 15 yr and older on total advantage; and 16 yr and older on the high-cue SRT. Mean test-retest differences on the various NA LiSN-S performance measures for the combined child, adult, and adolescent data ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 dB. Paired comparisons revealed test-retest differences were not significant on any measure of the NA LiSN-S except low-cue SRT. Testretest differences across measures did not differ as a function of age. Test and retest scores were significantly correlated for all NA LiSN-S measures. Conclusions: The ability to use either spatial or talker cues in isolation becomes adultlike by about 14 yr of age, whereas the ability to combine spatial and talker cues does not fully mature until closer to adulthood. By consolidating child, adolescent, and adult normative and retest data the NA LiSN-S can now been utilized to assess auditory processing skills in a wider population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)629-641
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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