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Infants and Children at the Cocktail Party

  • Lynne WernerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 60)

Abstract

The vast majority of children learn language despite the fact that they must do so in noisy environments. This chapter addresses the question of how children separate informative sounds from competing sounds and the limitations imposed on such auditory scene analysis by an immature auditory nervous system. Immature representation of auditory-visual synchrony, and possibly immature binaural processing, may limit the extent to which even school-age listeners can use those sources of information to parse the auditory scene. In contrast, infants have a relatively mature representation of sound spectrum, periodicity, and temporal modulation. Although infants and children are able to use these acoustic cues in auditory scene analysis, they are less efficient than adults at doing so. This lack of efficiency may stem from limitations of the mechanisms specifically involved in auditory scene analysis. However, the development of selective attention also makes an important contribution to the development of auditory scene analysis.

Keywords

Attention Auditory development Children Hearing Infants Masking 

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech and Hearing SciencesUniversity of WashingtonWashingtonUSA

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