Speech is a rapidly varying signal. Temporal processing generally slows with age and many older adults experience difficulties in understanding speech. This research involved over 250 young, middle-aged and older listeners. Temporal processing abilities were assessed in numerous vowel sequence tasks, and analyses examined several factors that might contribute to performance. Significant factors included age and cognitive function as measured by the WAIS-III, but not hearing status for the audible vowels. In addition, learning effects were assessed by retesting two tasks. All groups significantly improved vowel temporal-order identification to a similar degree, but large differences in performance between groups were still observed.
Bibliographic reference. Kewley-Port, Diane / Humes, Larry E. / Fogerty, Daniel (2010): "Changes in temporal processing of speech across the adult lifespan", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 1237-1240.