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  Neural alpha dynamics in younger and older listeners reflect acoustic challenges and predictive benefits

Wöstmann, M., Herrmann, B., Wilsch, A., & Obleser, J. (2015). Neural alpha dynamics in younger and older listeners reflect acoustic challenges and predictive benefits. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(4), 1458-1467. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3250-14.2015.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-C129-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7946-7
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Wöstmann, Malte1, 2, Author              
Herrmann, Björn1, Author              
Wilsch, Anna1, Author              
Obleser, Jonas1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_751545              
2International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Acoustic detail; Ageing; Alpha oscillations; Prediction; Speech
 Abstract: Speech comprehension in multitalker situations is a notorious real-life challenge, particularly for older listeners. Younger listeners exploit stimulus-inherent acoustic detail, but are they also actively predicting upcoming information? And further, how do older listeners deal with acoustic and predictive information? To understand the neural dynamics of listening difficulties and according listening strategies, we contrasted neural responses in the alpha-band (∼10 Hz) in younger (20–30 years, n = 18) and healthy older (60–70 years, n = 20) participants under changing task demands in a two-talker paradigm. Electroencephalograms were recorded while humans listened to two spoken digits against a distracting talker and decided whether the second digit was smaller or larger. Acoustic detail (temporal fine structure) and predictiveness (the degree to which the first digit predicted the second) varied orthogonally. Alpha power at widespread scalp sites decreased with increasing acoustic detail (during target digit presentation) but also with increasing predictiveness (in-between target digits). For older compared with younger listeners, acoustic detail had a stronger impact on task performance and alpha power modulation. This suggests that alpha dynamics plays an important role in the changes in listening behavior that occur with age. Last, alpha power variations resulting from stimulus manipulations (of acoustic detail and predictiveness) as well as task-independent overall alpha power were related to subjective listening effort. The present data show that alpha dynamics is a promising neural marker of individual difficulties as well as age-related changes in sensation, perception, and comprehension in complex communication situations.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-08-062014-12-032015-01-28
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3250-14.2015
PMID: 25632123
 Degree: -

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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Publ. Info: -
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 35 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1458 - 1467 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1