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Heritability of non-speech auditory processing skills

Brewer, Carmen C.; Zalewski, Christopher K.; King, Kelly A.; Zobay, Oliver; Riley, Alison; Ferguson, Melanie A.; Bird, Jonathan E.; McCabe, Margaret M.; Hood, Linda J.; Drayna, Dennis; Griffith, Andrew J.; Morell, Robert J.; Friedman, Thomas B.; Moore, David R.


Carmen C. Brewer

Christopher K. Zalewski

Kelly A. King

Oliver Zobay

Alison Riley

Melanie A. Ferguson

Jonathan E. Bird

Margaret M. McCabe

Linda J. Hood

Dennis Drayna

Andrew J. Griffith

Robert J. Morell

Thomas B. Friedman

David R. Moore


Recent insight into the genetic bases for autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, stuttering, and language disorders suggest that neurogenetic approaches may also reveal at least one etiology of auditory processing disorder (APD). A person with an APD typically has difficulty understanding speech in background noise despite having normal pure-tone hearing sensitivity. The estimated prevalence of APD may be as high as 10% in the pediatric population, yet the causes are unknown and have not been explored by molecular or genetic approaches. The aim of our study was to determine the heritability of frequency and temporal resolution for auditory signals and speech recognition in noise in 96 identical or fraternal twin pairs, aged 6–11 years. Measures of auditory processing (AP) of non-speech sounds included backward masking (temporal resolution), notched noise masking (spectral resolution), pure-tone frequency discrimination (temporal fine structure sensitivity), and nonsense syllable recognition in noise. We provide evidence of significant heritability, ranging from 0.32 to 0.74, for individual measures of these non-speech-based AP skills that are crucial for understanding spoken language. Identification of specific heritable AP traits such as these serve as a basis to pursue the genetic underpinnings of APD by identifying genetic variants associated with common AP disorders in children and adults.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 31, 2016
Journal European Journal of Human Genetics
Print ISSN 1018-4813
Electronic ISSN 1476-5438
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 8
APA6 Citation Brewer, C. C., Zalewski, C. K., King, K. A., Zobay, O., Riley, A., Ferguson, M. A., …Moore, D. R. (2016). Heritability of non-speech auditory processing skills. European Journal of Human Genetics, 24(8),
Keywords Auditory processing; Heritability; Twin study; Frequency discrimination; Backward masking
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf


Brewer et al author manuscript 2016.pdf (1.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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