Electrophysiological Markers of Aging in the Auditory System Physiological changes in the auditory system are known to underlie perceptual deficits commonly associated with age-related hearing loss (ARHL), such as difficulties understanding speech in background noise and temporal processing. To characterize these functional changes in a clinical population, electrophysiological measures of auditory brainstem and cortical function can be used ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2014
Electrophysiological Markers of Aging in the Auditory System
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann Clock Eddins
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Financial Disclosure: Ann Clock Eddins is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida. This work was supported in part by NIH/NIA P01-AG09524.
    Financial Disclosure: Ann Clock Eddins is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida. This work was supported in part by NIH/NIA P01-AG09524.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Ann Clock Eddins has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Ann Clock Eddins has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2014
Electrophysiological Markers of Aging in the Auditory System
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2014, Vol. 18, 44-52. doi:10.1044/hhd18.2.44
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2014, Vol. 18, 44-52. doi:10.1044/hhd18.2.44

Physiological changes in the auditory system are known to underlie perceptual deficits commonly associated with age-related hearing loss (ARHL), such as difficulties understanding speech in background noise and temporal processing. To characterize these functional changes in a clinical population, electrophysiological measures of auditory brainstem and cortical function can be used to index neural markers of aging and ARHL along the auditory pathway. This paper reviews a selection of studies in which electrophysiological techniques from the auditory brainstem response (ABR) to cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEP) were used to identify key changes in neural processing associated with advancing age and related perceptual deficits. Collectively, these results provide objective evidence for declines in temporal and spectral processing in the auditory periphery and central pathway with increasing age independent of hearing loss. Further research is needed to determine how such evidence-based measures might be altered through different forms of rehabilitative intervention.

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