Dichotic listening in children: Age-related changes in direction and magnitude of ear advantage


Children between the ages of 5 and 12. years were tested with dichotic listening tests utilizing single syllable words and random presentations of digits. They produced a higher prevalence of left ear dominance than expected, especially among right-handed children when tested with words. Whether more children demonstrate the LEA because of right hemisphere dominance for language or because there is less stability in ear advantage direction at younger ages cannot be fully resolved by this study. When ear advantages were measured by subtracting each child's lower score from the higher score without regard to right or left direction, an age-related trend toward lower measures of ear advantage was evident. This trend was greater for dichotic words than for dichotic digits. Structural factors that may be related to these results and possible influences of attention and verbal workload on the two kinds of dichotic stimuli are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Title

Brain and Cognition