Compromised temporal resolving power of the auditory system can be one of the main factors contributing to poor speech perception skills in the elderly. Very few of the earlier studies have systematically examined this aspect. Hence, the current study was designed with the following objectives: 1) To establish normative database of Gaps in Noise (GIN) test in elderly population in an Indian context. 2) To determine the relationship between speech discrimination skills and temporal resolution abilities in elderly individuals with normal hearing sensitivity. Thirty normal hearing elderly individuals (age range: 55-75 years; mean age: 59.86 ± 4.11 years) participated in the study. The audiological evaluation comprised of tympanometry, puretone and speech audiometry (Speech Reception Threshold-SRT, Speech Discrimination Score-SDS) and GIN. The results of the present study revealed mean Gap Detection Threshold (GDT) of 8.7 msec (SD = 3.38) in the right ear and 8.83 msec (SD = 2.86) in the left ear for the older participants. The mean Total Percentage Score (TPS) in the right ear was 47% (SD = 11.92) and 45% (SD = 11.29) in the left ear. These results suggest that temporal resolution abilities are poor in the elderly compared to the young and middle-aged group. There was no significant ear based difference on either GDT or TPS. The GDT was inversely correlated with speech discrimination performance. The TPS was positively correlated with SDS. This study clearly demonstrated a positive relationship between temporal resolution abilities and speech discrimination. The current database might be useful when assessing temporal resolution abilities in hearing impaired elderly individuals. Furthermore, all elderly individuals should undergo temporal resolution evaluation, irrespective of their hearing status, during audiological assessment. © 2017, Pacini Editore S.p.A. All rights reserved.
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P. G. Nair and Basheer, B. M., “Influence of temporal resolution skills in speech discrimination abilities of older subjects [Influenza della risoluzione temporale nelle abilità di discriminazione verbale dei soggetti anziani]”, Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica, vol. 37, pp. 58-62, 2017.