Diagnostic accuracy of established central auditory processing test batteries in patients with documented brain lesions

Frank E. Musiek, Gail D. Chermak, Jeffrey Weihing, Megan Zappulla, Stephanie Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose: The sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency of commonly used behavioral central auditory processing tests and test batteries were determined for 20 individuals with known lesions of the central auditory nervous system (CANS) and related auditory symptoms. Research Design: Twenty-nine individuals with no known neurological involvement served as the control group. Both groups were administered dichotic digits (DD), competing sentences (CS), frequency patterns (FP), and low-pass filtered speech (FS) tests. Data Analysis: Diagnostic indices for individual tests and test batteries comprised of two, three, or four tests were calculated both using a lax criterion in which failure on only one test in a battery led to a positive diagnosis and using a strict criterion in which failure on all tests in the battery was necessary to trigger a positive diagnosis. Results: The test battery providing the best balance between sensitivity and specificity varied as a function of criterion. The two-test DD-FP battery using a strict criterion demonstrated the best balance. Conclusions: Limitations of particular tests, the advantages of larger test batteries to more broadly examine multiple auditory processes, the degree to which the present results can be generalized clinically to populations without known brain lesions, and other clinical considerations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-358
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Diagnostic techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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