Psychological Research

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 15–19 | Cite as

Aging and temporal discrimination of brief auditory intervals

  • Thomas H. Rammsayer
  • Susan D. Lima
  • Wolfgang H. Vogel


In a duration-discrimination experiment, young adults (mean age = 25.1), middle-aged adults (mean age = 45.5), and older adults (mean age = 64.6) were presented with two very brief auditorily marked intervals per trial, and their task was to decide which of the two was longer in duration. An adaptive psychophysical procedure was used to determine difference thresholds in relation to a constant standard interval of 50 ms. It was found that duration-discrimination performance was unaffected by age; all three age groups yielded a difference threshold of approximately 17 ms. It was concluded that the ability to discriminate durations of very brief auditory intervals appears to be based on an underlying timing mechanism that does not slow down with advancing adult age.


Young Adult Difference Threshold Marked Interval Temporal Discrimination Timing Mechanism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Rammsayer
    • 1
  • Susan D. Lima
    • 2
  • Wolfgang H. Vogel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, Thomas Jefferson UniversityThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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