Evaluation of dichotic listening performance in normal-hearing, noise-exposed young females

Ishan Sunilkumar Bhatt, Jin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Recent animal studies have shown that intense noise exposures that produce robust temporary threshold shift (TTS) can inflict irreversible damage to the synaptic connections between the inner hair cells and auditory neurons. It was hypothesized that noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy may cause impaired acoustic encoding in the central auditory nervous system leading to impaired speech perception, particularly in challenging listening situations. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of high noise exposure background (NEB) on dichotic listening performance, speech-in-noise performance, and auditory brainstem responses (ABR) measured in young females with normal audiograms. The central hypothesis was that individuals with high NEB would exhibit reduced ABR wave I amplitude and subsequently would exhibit poorer performance on speech-in-noise and dichotic listening. In a sample of 32 females (14 with high NEB and 18 with low NEB) aged 18–35 years, the study compared behavioral hearing thresholds (from 250 to 16000 Hz), distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs, 1000–16000 Hz), click-evoked ABR, QuickSIN signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) loss and dichotic digit test (DDT). The results showed no clear association between NEB, and hearing thresholds, DPOAEs, click-evoked ABR measures, and QuickSIN SNR loss. Individuals with high NEB revealed significantly lower DDT scores and evidence of reduced right ear advantage compared to individuals with low NEB. The poorer performance in DDT and the ear asymmetry in DDT scores with normal ABR findings suggest that high NEB might alter the hemispheric organization of speech-sound processing and cognitive control. The clinical significance of the present findings is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalHearing Research
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Auditory brainstem responses
  • Cochlear synaptopathy
  • Dichotic digit test
  • Dichotic listening
  • Noise
  • Speech-in-noise performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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