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AUDITORY PATHWAYS Dimitra Loomos, Au.D. Audiology Consultant

It's About Listening!
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CHO CAP Seminar 10/14
What is Central Auditory Processing?

Central auditory processing (CAP) or auditory processing (AP) is defined as the execution and coordination of specific auditory mechanisms in an interactive manner. This processing allows the central nervous system to detect, decode, synthesize and interpret auditory information. CAP disorder or dysfunction will act like an acoustic filter that distorts the reception and/or interpretation of verbal language. The process of differential diagnosis is very important because verbal information processing problems can result from: a central auditory processing problem; a language processing problem; a combination of both types of processing problems; and/or deficits in cognitive decision making or memory or attention or emotional factors.


How does the Audiologist test Central Auditory Processing?


In choosing formal behavioral measures, the audiologist will include tests that meet accepted psychophysical and scientific standards (e.g., sensitivity and specificity), control for higher-order confounds (e.g., limit language, attention and cognition loads), and are appropriate to the client (e.g., address presenting symptoms, age appropriate). Audiologic tests presented to the listener are pre-recorded on CDs. The test stimuli are presented via a clinical audiometer and through earphones. This method of presentation allows for the control of acoustic parameters. It also allows for separate testing of each ear as well as binaural presentation of different test items. Testing occurs in a sound attenuated suite and without any visual cues. These audiologic tests stress the auditory system more extensively than does a peripheral hearing evaluation. Informal behavioral tests may also be included and possibly electrophysiologic measures as well.

Once deficient auditory function is

identified by audiologic testing,

what can we do about it?


Effective management may include appropriate adjustments to the environment so that auditory input is consistently accessible to the individual.


Because the auditory system demonstrates plasticity, appropriate therapeutic stimulation may extend the time course of critical developmental periods. Direct therapy in the form of auditory training will focus on enhancing auditory processing using a variety of auditory stimuli that are challenging, advance in level of difficulty, and require a response from the individual. Other forms of therapy that emphasize multi-sensory processing may also contribute to the therapeutic effort for some deficits.


Finally, compensating strategies are implemented to make the classroom or work place user-friendlier, and to strengthen higher-order processing skills in support of auditory processing.  





















Auditory Pathways
Voice Message: 510-282-7803
Testing Sites:

                 2301 Camino Ramon #106
                 San Ramon, CA 94583

                 20126 Stanton Ave. #205
                 Castro Valley, CA 94546

"RED FLAGS" that suggest a possible CAPD:

  • The child may behave as if he/she has hearing loss.
  • Psychological assessment may reveal scatter across subtests and weakness in auditory dependent areas.
  • The Verbal IQ measure may be poorer than the Performance IQ measure
  • There may be a history of recurrent ear infections or neurologic sequelae.
  • There may be deficits in fine or gross motor skills.
  • He/she may have problems following multi-step directions.
  • He/she may have trouble in reading and spelling.
  • He/she may not participate or respond in the classroom.
  • He/she may have poor music and singing skills.