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Open Access The Effect of Age on Huggins' Pitch Processing and its Location in Auditory Cortex

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

This paper begins with a description of a behavioural experiment with 72 listeners, 8–84 years of age, which shows that the upper frequency limit of Huggins' pitch (HP) decreases steadily with age. Subsequently, transient auditory-evoked-field (AEF) responses to the onset of HP and a change in HP were recorded from a subset of 21 of these listeners, 18–75 years of age. These neuromagnetic (MEG) responses were then compared to the onset and change responses produced by a monaural pitch-producing stimulus, namely, iterated rippled noise (IRN: Yost, 1996), and to a binaural control stimulus composed of broadband noise where a perceptual change was produced by inverting the interaural correlation from +1 to –1 or vice versa.

Source analyses revealed that the pitch onset responses (PORs) and the pitch change responses (PCRs) were located in the lateral portion of Heschl's gyrus (HG), whereas the correlation-change responses (CCRs) associated with the control noise were located in planum temporale (PT), along with the energy onset responses (EORs). Correlation analyses of these neuromagnetic responses with age revealed a somewhat complicated pattern of specific effects: The amplitudes of the PORs and PCRs evoked by HP were smaller for increasing age, and the CCRs were smaller in the older listeners. Moreover, the latencies of the POR and PCR to IRN stimuli were longer for the older listeners. However, the amplitude of the IRN responses did not correlate with age.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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