Auditory attention evaluation in the elderly using a Persian version of consonant-vowel dichotic test
Background and Aim: Aging is accompanied with changes in cognitive capacities. In spite of advances in neural imaging technologies, there is not a straightforward method to observe cognitive functions. For assessing brain functions, researchers mainly use psychometric tests. The aim of this study was using consonant-vowel (CV) dichotic test as a non-invasive behavioral test for auditory attention (focused and divided attention) and language laterality evaluation in young and old age groups.
Methods: In the present cross-sectional study, Persian version of consonant-vowel dichotic test was performed on 28 young subjects within 18-28 and 27 old subjects within 60-80 year-old age range of both genders. All subjects had normal peripheral hearing and were right-handed. Right and left ear scores were compared under three different attention conditions: divided or non-forced attention, attention to the right ear, attention to the left ear.
Results: In non-forced condition there was no significant difference for the right ear score between the two age groups (p=0.97) but the left ear score was statistically different (p≤0.001). In addition, there was a significant difference between two ears’ scores in attention to right/left ear for both age groups (p≤0.001).
Conclusion: In the older group under divided attention condition, the left ear score was lower than the younger group and they had problem in paying attention especially to the left ear stimuli. In the older group, ear asymmetry for consonant-vowel dichotic test score was higher than the younger one.
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