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June 1982

Detection v Discrimination of Brief-Duration Tones: Findings in Patients With Temporal Lobe Damage

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology (Dr Cranford and Ms Rye) and the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery (Dr Slade), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; and the Department of Communications, North Texas State University, Denton (Dr Stream).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1982;108(6):350-356. doi:10.1001/archotol.1982.00790540022007

• Based on earlier experiments with cats, we have developed two new hearing tests to evaluate the ability of patients with temporal lobe damage to discriminate tones of short temporal duration. Earlier published studies suggested that patients exhibit notably increased thresholds for detecting tone pulses shorter than 200 ms in length when the signals are presented to the ear located contralateral to the damaged hemisphere. Our experiments with cats indicated that auditory cortex lesions had no effect on the cats' ability to detect brief tones but did impair their ability to discriminate small changes in the frequency of such signals. In giving the brief-tone tests to seven patients with temporal lobe damage, we found a similar behavioral dissociation. All patients exhibited normal detection thresholds in conjunction with substantially elevated frequency difference limina.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1982;108:350-356)