Auditory and visual localization accuracy in young children and adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to measure and compare sound and light source localization ability in young children and adults who have normal hearing and normal/corrected vision in order to determine the extent to which age, type of stimuli, and stimulus order affects sound localization accuracy. Methods: Two experiments were conducted. The first involved a group of adults only. The second involved a group of 30 children aged 3 to 5 years. Testing occurred in a sound-treated booth containing a semi-circular array of 15 loudspeakers set at 10° intervals from -70° to 70° azimuth. Each loudspeaker had a tiny light bulb and a small picture fastened underneath. Seven of the loudspeakers were used to randomly test sound and light source identification. The sound stimulus was the word "baseball". The light stimulus was a flashing of a light bulb triggered by the digital signal of the word "baseball". Each participant was asked to face 0° azimuth, and identify the location of the test stimulus upon presentation. Adults used a computer mouse to click on an icon; children responded by verbally naming or walking toward the picture underneath the corresponding loudspeaker or light. A mixed experimental design using repeated measures was used to determine the effect of age and stimulus type on localization accuracy in children and adults. A mixed experimental design was used to compare the effect of stimulus order (light first/last) and varying or fixed intensity sound on localization accuracy in children and adults. Results: Localization accuracy was significantly better for light stimuli than sound stimuli for children and adults. Children, compared to adults, showed significantly greater localization errors for audition. Three-year-old children had significantly greater sound localization errors compared to 4- and 5-year olds. Adults performed better on the sound localization task when the light localization task occurred first. Conclusions: Young children can understand and attend to localization tasks, but show poorer localization accuracy than adults in sound localization. This may be a reflection of differences in sensory modality development and/or central processes in young children, compared to adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volume79
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Sound Localization
Young Adult
Light
Baseball
Hearing
Research Design
Aptitude
Walking

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Auditory and visual localization accuracy in young children and adults. / Martin, Karen; Johnstone, Patti; Hedrick, Mark.

In: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Vol. 79, No. 6, 01.06.2015, p. 844-851.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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