Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Research Advisor

Deborah von Hapsburg, Ph.D.


Kristin King, Ph.D. Gregory Petty, Ph.D. Patrick Plyler, Ph.D. Tim Saltuklaroglu, Ph.D


Cognition, Dual Task, Elderly, Noise


This study expands upon methods used to investigate cognition and speech perception which have been limited by lack of (a) pre-screening of cognitive function in participants, (b) reporting visual or auditory accuracy and reaction time measures across experimental conditions that examine reaction times, and (c) comprehensive test battery that includes performance across multiple levels of dual task paradigms (DTPs). This study aims to examine group performance on dual tasks (DT) increasing in cognitive (task difficulty) and perceptual load (noise) with age. Participants were divided into two groups based upon age. Group 1 consisted of 14 listeners (Female=11) who were 40-59 years old (Mean=53.18, SD=5.97). Group 2 consisted of 15 listeners (Female=9) who were 60 years old and older (Mean=72.07, SD=5.11). All participants were tested in each of 3 experimental conditions: (1) auditory word recognition + visual processing, (2) auditory working memory (word) + visual processing, and (3) auditory working memory (sentence) + visual processing in noise. The results indicate auditory accuracy, visual accuracy, and visual processing speed are affected by the complexity of the given task.