DOI: 10.1044/2023_jslhr-22-00621 ISSN:

Effects of Auditory Training in Older Adults

C.-Y. Yvonne Lai, P. S. Ng, Alice H. D. Chan, Francis C. K. Wong
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


This study examines the effects of an auditory training program on the auditory and cognitive abilities of older adults. Auditory rehabilitation programs are generally designed for hearing aid users, and studies have demonstrated benefits for them. In this study, we seek to understand whether such a training program can also benefit older adults who do not wear hearing aids. We also examined if cognitive benefits can indeed be observed as a result of the training.


Sixty-four older adults were recruited and assigned into three groups: the experimental group ( n = 20), the active control group ( n = 21), and the no-training control group ( n = 23). The experimental group underwent an auditory training program (Listening and Communication Enhancement [LACE]) during the training phase. Meanwhile, the active control group listened to short audio clips and the no-training control group did not participate in any program. An auditory test (Quick Speech-in-Noise [QuickSIN]) and a battery of cognitive tests were conducted before and after the training to examine the participants' performance on auditory ability, short-term memory, and attention.


The results showed improvements in auditory and cognitive abilities during the training period. When assessing the training effects by comparing the pre- and the posttraining performances, a significant improvement on the QuickSIN task was found in the training group but not in the other two groups. However, other cognitive tests did not show any significant improvement. That is, the LACE training did not benefit short-term memory and attention. The improved performance on short-term memory during the training was not maintained in the posttraining session.


Overall, the study has extended the auditory benefit from the LACE training to the typical aging population in terms of improved communication ability, but the effect of training on auditory abilities did not transfer to gains in cognitive abilities.

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