Voice-pitch cues provide detailed information about a talker that help a listener to understand speech in complex environments. Temporal-envelope based voice-pitch coding is important for listeners with hearing impairment, especially listeners with cochlear implants, as spectral resolution is not sufficient to provide a spectrally based voice-pitch cue. The effect of aging on the ability to glean voice-pitch information using temporal envelope cues is not completely understood. The current study measured fundamental frequency (f0) discrimination limens in normal-hearing younger and older adults while listening to noise-band vocoded harmonic complexes with varying numbers of spectral channels. Age-related disparities in performance were apparent across all conditions, independent of spectral degradation and/or fundamental frequency. The findings have important implications for older listeners with normal hearing and hearing loss, who may be inherently limited in their ability to perceive f0 cues due to senescent decline in auditory function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics