Extended high-frequency pure tone hearing thresholds and core executive functions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the relationship between extended high-frequency pure tone hearing thresholds (frequencies 10 to 14 kHz) and working memory capacity (WMC), inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. Design: Experimental study measuring correlations between different high-frequency hearing threshold measures and cognitive measures. Study: Pure tone audiometry was assessed in the extended high-frequency (frequencies 10, 12.5 and 14 kHz). Subjects were also tested regarding WMC, inhibitory control (response inhibition), and cognitive flexibility (information updating and shifting ability). Sample: Forty-three subjects between 20 and 29 years old with normal hearing (≤ 20 dB HL) in the frequency range between 0.125 to 8 kHz. Results: No significant correlations were seen between high-frequency hearing thresholds defined as average best and worst ear high-frequency hearing thresholds and the cognitive measures. Differences between the best and the worst ear showed significant negative correlations with inhibitory control and global executive function (combination score for WMC, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility). Conclusions: The present study suggests that global executive functions, more specifically response inhibition, and hearing threshold asymmetry in the extended high-frequency range are interrelated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-645
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number9
Early online date2018 Jun 11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Free keywords

  • Cognitive demands
  • cognitive flexibility
  • response inhibition
  • response time
  • working memory


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