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Auditory Discrimination

The most important sensory systems in learning are the visual and the auditory systems. Even if the sensory organs, the eyes and the ears, are healthy, developmental deficits in the perceptual brain functions can exist. These deficits can impede the normal learning processes eventually leading to serious consequences. Therefore it is important to be able to test the corresponding sensory capacities quantitatively and to compare the results with the data of age matched control subjects.

The Brain Research Group of the Institute of Biophysics of the University of Freiburg together with the Section of Paedaudiology of the Medical School at Hannover (Germany) have developped five nonverbal auditory tests implemented in a small transportable instrument called FonoFix.

Five tasks are provided to test several subfunctions of the auditory system: discrimination of sound intensity and of tone frequency, the detection of short pauses in sounds, the correct detection of the temporal order of two different tones, and the correct judgement of the temporal sequence of two sounds being presented the right and the left ear.

The data obtained by these tasks show a long lasting development which extends to the age of 20 years. At the beginning of school the children are far from the adult values.

Dyslexic children perform these tasks significantly worse as compared with age matched controls.


Author: Prof.Dr.B.Fischer
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