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Sandra E Trehub, Bruce A Schneider, Laurel J Trainor, and Barbara A Morrongiello (1996)

Threshold Estimation in the Preschool Period: The PEST Procedure

Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 20:173-179.

Preschool children's thresholds for narrow-band noises centred at 500 and 4000 Hz were estimated on two occasions with an adaptive procedure commonly used with adults (PEST). Averaged individual thresholds for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children were comparable to group thresholds obtained previously with the method of constant stimuli. As expected. thresholds were higher for 500-Hz than for 4000-Hz signals. Moreover, the thresholds of 3-year-olds were significantly higher than those of 4-and 5-year-olds, which did not differ from one another. Only the thresholds of 3-year-olds improved significantly from the first to the second day of testing. The present version of the PEST procedure, which necessitates a single test session of 30 trials or less, generates reasonably accurate threshold estimates for 4-and 5-year-olds, but underestimates the abilities of 3-year-olds.

auditory thresholds, preschool children, hearing