A comparison of pure tone auditory thresholds in human infants and adults

Joan M. Sinnott, David B. Pisoni, Richard N. Aslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Pure tone auditory thresholds for frequencies from.250 to 8.0 kHz were obtained from 27 7-to-11-month-old human infants and nine adults using a go-no-go operant head-turning technique combined with an adaptive staircase (tracking) discrimination procedure. New methods were devised for maintaining infants under stimulus control during threshold testing through the use of randomly interleaved "probe" and "catch" trials. Reliable threshold data were obtained from every infant studied, and identical threshold criteria were applied to infants and adults alike. Although infant thresholds were 17-27 dB higher than those of adults, infant inter-subject variability was no greater than that of adults. Adult audiograms were nearly flat between frequencies of.500 and 8.0 kHz with sensitivity ranging between 7 and 14 dB SPL. Infant audiograms were flat between frequencies of.500 and 4.0 kHz, with sensitivity ranging between 30 and 36 dB SPL. The most sensitive frequency for infants was 8.0 kHz (25 dB SPL).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983


  • audition
  • hearing
  • sensory development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of pure tone auditory thresholds in human infants and adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this