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Trends in Hearing

Mark D Fletcher, Sean R Mills, Tobias Goehring
Many cochlear implant (CI) users achieve excellent speech understanding in acoustically quiet conditions but most perform poorly in the presence of background noise. An important contributor to this poor speech-in-noise performance is the limited transmission of low-frequency sound information through CIs. Recent work has suggested that tactile presentation of this low-frequency sound information could be used to improve speech-in-noise performance for CI users. Building on this work, we investigated whether vibro-tactile stimulation can improve speech intelligibility in multi-talker noise...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Sarah Michiels, Tanit Ganz Sanchez, Yahav Oron, Annick Gilles, Haúla F Haider, Soly Erlandsson, Karl Bechter, Veronika Vielsmeier, Eberhard Biesinger, Eui-Cheol Nam, Jeanne Oiticica, Ítalo Roberto T de Medeiros, Carina Bezerra Rocha, Berthold Langguth, Paul Van de Heyning, Willem De Hertogh, Deborah A Hall
Since somatic or somatosensory tinnitus (ST) was first described as a subtype of subjective tinnitus, where altered somatosensory afference from the cervical spine or temporomandibular area causes or changes a patient's tinnitus perception, several studies in humans and animals have provided a neurophysiological explanation for this type of tinnitus. Due to a lack of unambiguous clinical tests, many authors and clinicians use their own criteria for diagnosing ST. This resulted in large differences in prevalence figures in different studies and limits the comparison of clinical trials on ST treatment...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Graham Naylor, Thomas Koelewijn, Adriana A Zekveld, Sophia E Kramer
In recent years, the fields of Audiology and Cognitive Sciences have seen a burgeoning of research focusing on the assessment of the effort required during listening. Among approaches to this question, the pupil dilation response has shown to be an informative nonvolitional indicator of cognitive processing during listening. Currently, pupillometry is applied in laboratories throughout the world to assess how listening effort is influenced by various relevant factors, such as hearing loss, signal processing algorithms, cochlear implant rehabilitation, cognitive abilities, language competency, and daily-life hearing disability...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Josefine Juul Jensen, Susanna L Callaway, Thomas Lunner, Dorothea Wendt
Tinnitus can have serious impact on a person's life and is a common auditory symptom that is especially comorbid with hearing loss. This study investigated processing effort required for speech recognition in a group of hearing-impaired people with tinnitus and a control group (CG) of hearing-impaired people without tinnitus by means of pupillary response. Furthermore, the relationship between the pupillary response, self-rating measures of tinnitus severity, and fatigue was examined. Participants performed a speech-in-noise task with a competing four-talker babble at two speech intelligibility levels (50% and 95%) with either an active or inactive noise-reduction scheme while the pupillary response was recorded...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Kenneth I Vaden, Lois J Matthews, Judy R Dubno
Distinct forms of age-related hearing loss are hypothesized based on evidence from animal models of aging, which are identifiable in human audiograms. The Sensory phenotype results from damage (e.g., excessive noise or ototoxic drugs) to outer hair cells and sometimes inner hair cells, producing large threshold increases predominately at high frequencies. The Metabolic phenotype results from a decline in endocochlear potential that can reduce outer hair cell motility throughout the cochlea, producing gradually sloping thresholds from lower to higher frequencies...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Peggy B Nelson, Trevor T Perry, Melanie Gregan, Dianne VanTasell
The current study used the self-fitting algorithm to allow listeners to self-adjust hearing-aid gain or compression parameters to select gain for speech understanding in a variety of quiet and noise conditions. Thirty listeners with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss adjusted gain parameters in quiet and in several types of noise. Outcomes from self-adjusted gain and audiologist-fit gain indicated consistent within-subject performance but a great deal of between-subject variability. Gain selection did not strongly affect intelligibility within the range of signal-to-noise ratios tested...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Hartmut Meister, Sebastian Rählmann, Ulrike Lemke, Jana Besser
This study examined verbal response times-that is, the duration from stimulus offset to voice onset-as a potential measure of cognitive load during conventional testing of speech-in-noise understanding. Response times were compared with a measure of perceived effort as assessed by listening effort scaling. Three listener groups differing in age and hearing status participated in the study. Testing was done at two target intelligibility levels (80%, 95%) and with two noise types (stationary and fluctuating)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Tobias May, Borys Kowalewski, Torsten Dau
Fast-acting dynamic range compression is a level-dependent amplification scheme which aims to restore audibility for hearing-impaired listeners. However, when being applied to noisy speech at positive signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), the gain function typically changes rapidly over time as it is driven by the short-term fluctuations of the speech signal. This leads to an amplification of the noise components in the speech gaps, which reduces the output SNR and distorts the acoustic properties of the background noise...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Blake J Lawrence, Dona M P Jayakody, Helen Henshaw, Melanie A Ferguson, Robert H Eikelboom, Andrea M Loftus, Peter L Friedland
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the efficacy of auditory training and cognitive training to improve cognitive function in adults with hearing loss. A literature search of academic databases (e.g., MEDLINE, Scopus) and gray literature (e.g., OpenGrey) identified relevant articles published up to January 25, 2018. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or repeated measures designs were included. Outcome effects were computed as Hedge's g and pooled using random-effects meta-analysis (PROSPERO: CRD42017076680)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Simon Carlile, John L Davy, David Hillman, Kym Burgemeister
This review considers the nature of the sound generated by wind turbines focusing on the low-frequency sound (LF) and infrasound (IS) to understand the usefulness of the sound measures where people work and sleep. A second focus concerns the evidence for mechanisms of physiological transduction of LF/IS or the evidence for somatic effects of LF/IS. While the current evidence does not conclusively demonstrate transduction, it does present a strong prima facia case. There are substantial outstanding questions relating to the measurement and propagation of LF and IS and its encoding by the central nervous system relevant to possible perceptual and physiological effects...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Søren Laugesen, Julia Eva Rieck, Claus Elberling, Torsten Dau, James M Harte
Validating hearing-aid fittings in prelingual infants is challenging because typical measures (aided audiometry, etc.) are impossible with infants. One objective alternative uses an aided auditory steady-state response (ASSR) measurement. To make an appropriate measurement, the hearing aid's signal-processing features must be activated (or deactivated) as if the ASSR stimulus was real speech. Rather than manipulating the hearing-aid settings to achieve this, an ASSR stimulus with speech-like properties was developed...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Y Zaltz, D Ari-Even Roth, A Karni, L Kishon-Rabin
The few studies that compared auditory skill learning between children and adults found variable results, with only some children reaching adult-like thresholds following training. The present study aimed to assess auditory skill learning in children as compared with adults during single- and multisession training. It was of interest to ascertain whether children who do not reach adult-like performance following a single training session simply require additional training, or whether different mechanisms underlying skill learning need to reach maturity in order to become adult-like performers...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Simon Lansbergen, Inge De Ronde-Brons, Monique Boymans, Wim Soede, Wouter A Dreschler
There is lack of a systematic approach concerning how to select an adequate hearing aid and how to evaluate its efficacy with respect to the personal needs of rehabilitation. The goal of this study was to examine the applicability and added value of two widely used self-reporting questionnaires in relation to the evaluation of hearing aid fitting. We analyzed responses, pre- and postfitting, from 1,319 subjects who completed the Client Oriented Scale of Improvement (COSI) and a slightly adapted version of the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability and Handicap (in Dutch: AVAB)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Yonghee Oh, Lina A J Reiss
Hearing-impaired adults, including both cochlear implant and bilateral hearing aid (HA) users, often exhibit broad binaural pitch fusion, meaning that they fuse dichotically presented tones with large pitch differences between ears. The current study was designed to investigate how binaural pitch fusion can be influenced by amplitude modulation (AM) of the stimuli and whether effects differ with hearing loss. Fusion ranges, the frequency ranges over which binaural pitch fusion occurs, were measured in both normal-hearing (NH) listeners and HA users with various coherent AM rates (2, 4, and 8 Hz); AM depths (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%); and interaural AM phase and AM rate differences...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Christian Füllgrabe, Aleksander P Sęk, Brian C J Moore
Differences in the temporal fine structure (TFS) of sounds at the two ears are used for sound localization and for the perceptual analysis of complex auditory scenes. The ability to process this binaural TFS information is poorer for older than for younger participants, and this may contribute to age-related declines in the ability to understand speech in noisy situations. However, it is unclear how sensitivity to binaural TFS changes across the older age range. This article presents data for a test of binaural sensitivity to TFS, the "TFS-adaptive frequency" (AF) test, for 118 listeners aged 60 to 96 years with normal or near-normal low-frequency hearing, but a variety of patterns of hearing loss at higher frequencies...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Josef Schlittenlacher, Richard E Turner, Brian C J Moore
This article describes a Bayesian active-learning procedure for estimating the edge frequency, fe , of a dead region, that is, a region in the cochlea with no or very few functioning inner hair cells or neurons. The method is based on the psychophysical tuning curve (PTC) but estimates the shape of the PTC from the parameters of a hearing model, namely fe , and degree of outer hair cell loss. It chooses the masker frequency and level for each trial to be highly informative about the model parameters in the context of previous data...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Charlotte Vercammen, Tine Goossens, Jaime Undurraga, Jan Wouters, Astrid van Wieringen
A person's ability to process temporal fine structure information is indispensable for speech understanding. As speech understanding typically deteriorates throughout adult life, this study aimed to disentangle age and hearing impairment (HI)-related changes in binaural temporal processing. This was achieved by examining neural and behavioral processing of interaural phase differences (IPDs). Neural IPD processing was studied electrophysiologically through steady-state activity in the electroencephalogram evoked by periodic changes in IPDs over time, embedded in the temporal fine structure of acoustic stimulation...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Florian Denk, Marleen Grzybowski, Stephan M A Ernst, Birger Kollmeier, Stefan Debener, Martin G Bleichner
Future hearing devices could exploit brain signals of the user derived from electroencephalography (EEG) measurements, for example, for fitting the device or steering signal enhancement algorithms. While previous studies have shown that meaningful brain signals can be obtained from ear-centered EEG electrodes, we here present a feasibility study where ear-EEG is integrated with a live hearing device. Seventeen normal-hearing participants were equipped with an individualized in-the-ear hearing device and an ear-EEG system that included 10 electrodes placed around the ear (cEEGrid) and 3 electrodes spread out in the concha...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Xin Zhou, Abd-Krim Seghouane, Adnan Shah, Hamish Innes-Brown, Will Cross, Ruth Litovsky, Colette M McKay
An experiment was conducted to investigate the feasibility of using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to image cortical activity in the language areas of cochlear implant (CI) users and to explore the association between the activity and their speech understanding ability. Using fNIRS, 15 experienced CI users and 14 normal-hearing participants were imaged while presented with either visual speech or auditory speech. Brain activation was measured from the prefrontal, temporal, and parietal lobe in both hemispheres, including the language-associated regions...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Petra von Gablenz, Fabian Otto-Sobotka, Inga Holube
The German short form of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) was administered in a cross-sectional study based on stratified random samples complemented by audiometric tests and a general interview. Data from 1,711 unaided adults aged 18 to 97 years were analyzed in order to determine a distribution of hearing abilities considered as normal and the main factors that impact self-assessments. An innovative mathematical approach was used to overcome the constraints of statistics based on the mean...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
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