Testing the ability to hear in noise is a procedure that is commonly used in clinics in order to uncover possible central auditory problems.
Despite its common use, it does not provide a sensitive tool to measure central auditory dysfunction (at least, in the opinion of the present authors).
Specialized cortical neurons may indeed be damaged in individuals with cortical pathology, and this may be why it is difficult for individuals to hear in noise.
However, administering a speech recognition list at a given signal –to- (Speech spectrum) noise ratio as a central test leaves much to be desired.
These tests generally do not have good reliability and hence are difficult to interpret. In addition, speech – in – noise testing often shows reduced scores for peripheral and central auditory lesions with little differential capability (Olsen, Noffsinger, and Kurdziel,1975).