Thursday, February 21, 2013

CHC Theory: Auditory Processing (Ga) definition

Auditory Processing (Ga):. The ability to detect and process meaningful nonverbal information in sound. This definition may cause confusion because we do not have a well developed vocabulary for talking about sound unless we are talking about speech sounds or music. Ga encompasses both of these domains but also much more. There are two common misperceptions about Ga. First, although Ga depends on sensory input, it is not sensory input itself. Ga is what the brain does with sensory information from the ear, sometimes long after a sound has been heard.. The second extremely common misconception is that Ga is oral language comprehension. It is true that one aspect of Ga (parsing speech sounds or Phonetic Coding) is related to oral language comprehension but this is simply a precursor to comprehension, not comprehension itself.
  • Phonetic Coding (PC). Ability to hear phonemes distinctly. This ability is also referred to as phonological processing and phonological awareness. People with poor phonetic coding have difficulty hearing the internal structure of sound in words.
  • Speech Sound Discrimination (US): Ability to detect and discriminate differences in speech sounds (other than phonemes) under conditions of little or no distraction or distortion.  Poor speech sound discrimination can produce difficulty in the ability to distinguish variations in tone, timbre, and pitch in speech.
  •  Resistance to Auditory Stimulus Distortion (UR). Ability to hear words correctly even under conditions of distortion or loud background noise.
  • Memory for Sound Patterns (UM). Ability to retain (on a short-term basis) auditory events such as tones, tonal patterns, and voices.
  • Maintaining and Judging Rhythm (U8). Ability to recognize and maintain a musical beat. This may be an aspect of Memory for Sound Patterns as short-term memory is clearly involved. However, it is likely that there is something distinct about rhythm that warrants a distinction.
  • Musical Discrimination and Judgment (U1 U9). Ability to discriminate and judge tonal patterns in music with respect to melodic, harmonic, and expressive aspects (phrasing, tempo, harmonic complexity, intensity variations).
  • Absolute Pitch (UP). Ability to perfectly identify the pitch of tones.  As a historical tidbit, John Carroll had perfect pitch.
  • Sound Localization (UL). Ability to localize heard sounds in space.

The above definitions were abstracted from Schneider and McGrew's (2012) contemporary CHC theory chapter in the form of a special CHC v2.0 publication. See the chapter for more in depth information regarding this ability domain and contemporary CHC theory.

Prior definitions in this series can be found here.

Thanks to Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman for permission to to use the above graphic depiction of this CHC ability. These CHC icons are part of Dr. Kaufman's book, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and are the creative work of George Doutsiopoulos.

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