Tone Discrimination as a Window Into Acoustic Perceptual Deficits in Parkinson’s Disease Purpose Deficits in auditory perception compromise a range of linguistic processes in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD), including speech perception and sensitivity to affective and linguistic prosody. An unanswered question is whether this deficit exists not only at the level of speech perception, but also at a more pervasive level ... Research Note
Research Note  |   August 01, 2012
Tone Discrimination as a Window Into Acoustic Perceptual Deficits in Parkinson’s Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joshua Troche
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Michelle S. Troche
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Rebecca Berkowitz
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Murray Grossman
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • Jamie Reilly
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Correspondence to Joshua Troche: jetgator@ufl.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Carl Coelho
    Associate Editor: Carl Coelho×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Note
Research Note   |   August 01, 2012
Tone Discrimination as a Window Into Acoustic Perceptual Deficits in Parkinson’s Disease
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2012, Vol. 21, 258-263. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0007)
History: Received January 18, 2011 , Revised July 9, 2011 , Accepted March 9, 2012
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2012, Vol. 21, 258-263. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0007)
History: Received January 18, 2011; Revised July 9, 2011; Accepted March 9, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose Deficits in auditory perception compromise a range of linguistic processes in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD), including speech perception and sensitivity to affective and linguistic prosody. An unanswered question is whether this deficit exists not only at the level of speech perception, but also at a more pervasive level of auditory perception. It is possible that PD produces a selective impairment in the perception of a salient acoustic feature such as frequency, amplitude, or duration.

Method Auditory perception in persons with PD was investigated using a tone discrimination task where clients (N = 12) and age-matched controls (N = 15) made same/different judgments for pairs of pure tones that were factorially varied by acoustic feature (i.e., frequency, amplitude, or duration) crossed with perceptual distance (i.e., close vs. far).

Results Relative to healthy age-matched controls, persons with PD showed marked impairment in tone discrimination. Persons with PD showed an acoustic feature by perceptual distance interaction that was characterized by deficits in detecting frequency and amplitude differences for perceptually near tones.

Conclusion These results suggest that persons with PD show a reduced ability to notice change in frequency and amplitude as compared to normal older adults. More generally, these findings implicate a frontal–striatal contribution to auditory perception.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by U.S. Public Health Service Grants K23 DC010197 (JR) and NS53488, AG15116, NS44266, and AG17586 (MG).
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