Volume 39 (2018) Issue 1 Pages 30-36
The accuracy of synchronous tapping with a sequence of fixed-interval light flashes (light-synchronized tapping, LST) is impaired by the presence of a sound sequence depending on its temporal relationship with the light flashes. The present study tested the possibility that the LST task can be used as an objective method of estimating auditory detection thresholds without requiring the listener to report directly his/her sensation as in standard audiometry. The experiment used tone bursts as distractor sequences and varied the frequency and level of the tones. The tone level had a statistically significant effect on the distraction level, but the effect of frequency was not significant. Significant distraction was observed for a tone level of, on average, as low as 15 dB above the detection threshold. In other words, once the lowest tone level of the distraction effect is identified, one can expect that the participant's detection threshold would lie at around 15 dB below the level, regardless of the frequency. The results indicate that in principle, the LST task could be used to estimate auditory detection thresholds, although the reliability of the threshold estimation still has to be improved for it to be applicable to audiometry.