Macquarie University
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Auditory processing, attention and memory in school aged children with listening difficulties in noise

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posted on 2022-03-29, 01:12 authored by Imran Dhamani
In this research we aimed to investigate auditory processing, attention and memory skills in children (10-15 years) with persistent listening difficulties in background noise despite having clinically normal hearing sensitivity. We conducted 3 studies in this research project. Study 1 was aimed to design or modify tasks to assess selected auditory processing abilities that are considered important for listening in noise but not routinely assessed in clinics. In study 2 we designed a novel task to examine the auditory selective attention and attention switching ability. Auditory processing ability was also assessed using a set of clinically recommended as well as the additional tasks designed in the study 1. The results were suggestive of poor attention switching and inhibitory control ability in the LD group. In the study 3, we invited more children with listening difficulties in background noise (LD group; n=21) and assessed them in three phases. First, we examined their attention switching ability using the task designed in the second study. The results were consistent with those in the early study. Secondly, we tested them on a set of recommended clinical tests to identify the presence of an auditory processing disorder (APD). The results indicated that five children could be diagnosed with APD (APD group) and were considered separately for further comparisons. Lastly, we evaluated both the LD and APD groups on additional tasks to examine their auditory processing as well as short term and working memory ability and found poor frequency resolution and working memory skills for the APD group. In summary, all the children who reported with listening difficulties in noise showed deficits in their attention switching and inhibitory control ability which may suggest a possible top down (central) information processing deficit in these children.


Table of Contents

1. Audiological evaluation of children with listening difficulties -- 2. Evaluation of selected auditory processing abilities in school-aged children and adults -- 3. Switch attention to listen -- 4. Evaluation of auditory attention, processing and memory in school-aged children with listening difficulties in noisy environments -- Overall Discussion.


Includes bibliographical references Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Mridula Sharma

Additional Supervisor 1

Robert Mannell

Additional Supervisor 2

Suzanne Purdy


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Imran Dhamani 2013.




1 online resource (186 pages) colour illustrations

Former Identifiers

mq:31111 2120119