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Binaural hearing

Nathaniel T Greene, Kelsey L Anbuhl, Alexander T Ferber, Marisa DeGuzman, Paul D Allen, Daniel J Tollin
Despite the common use of guinea pigs in investigations of the neural mechanisms of binaural and spatial hearing, their behavioral capabilities in spatial hearing tasks have surprisingly not been thoroughly investigated. To begin to fill this void, we tested the spatial hearing of adult male guinea pigs in several experiments using a paradigm based on the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. In the first experiment, we presented continuous broadband noise from one speaker location and switched to a second speaker location (the "prepulse") along the azimuth prior to presenting a brief, ∼110 dB SPL startle-eliciting stimulus...
April 27, 2018: Hearing Research
Ann Clock Eddins, Erol J Ozmeral, David A Eddins
Over the years, the effect of aging on auditory function has been investigated in animal models and humans in an effort to characterize age-related changes in both perception and physiology. Here, we review how aging may impact neural encoding and processing of binaural and spatial cues in human listeners with a focus on recent work by the authors as well as others. Age-related declines in monaural temporal processing, as estimated from measures of gap detection and temporal fine structure discrimination, have been associated with poorer performance on binaural tasks that require precise temporal processing...
May 5, 2018: Hearing Research
Carina Pals, Anastasios Sarampalis, Mart van Dijk, Deniz Başkent
OBJECTIVES: Residual acoustic hearing in electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS) can benefit cochlear implant (CI) users in increased sound quality, speech intelligibility, and improved tolerance to noise. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the low-pass-filtered acoustic speech in simulated EAS can provide the additional benefit of reducing listening effort for the spectrotemporally degraded signal of noise-band-vocoded speech. DESIGN: Listening effort was investigated using a dual-task paradigm as a behavioral measure, and the NASA Task Load indeX as a subjective self-report measure...
May 11, 2018: Ear and Hearing
Emily Buss, Margaret T Dillon, Meredith A Rooth, English R King, Ellen J Deres, Craig A Buchman, Harold C Pillsbury, Kevin D Brown
A FDA clinical trial was carried out to evaluate the potential benefit of cochlear implant (CI) use for adults with unilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Subjects were 20 adults with moderate-to-profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and normal or near-normal hearing on the other side. A MED-EL standard electrode was implanted in the impaired ear. Outcome measures included: (a) sound localization on the horizontal plane (11 positions, -90° to 90°), (b) word recognition in quiet with the CI alone, and (c) masked sentence recognition with the target at 0° and the masker at -90°, 0°, or 90°...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Sebastiano Franchella, Roberto Bovo, Luigia Bandolin, Flavia Gheller, Silvia Montino, Daniele Borsetto, Sara Ghiselli, Alessandro Martini
INTRODUCTION: Hearing loss is considered the most common congenital disease and the prevalence of neonatal deafness can be estimated between 1 and 2 cases per 1000 live births. Infant deafness must be diagnosed as early as possible and an effective therapeutic intervention needs to be carried out in order to avoid the serious consequences of hearing deprivation during the evolutionary period: alterations in the development of central auditory pathways and lack of language acquisition...
June 2018: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Enrique A Lopez-Poveda, Almudena Eustaquio-Martín
It has been recently shown that cochlear implant users could enjoy better speech reception in noise and enhanced spatial unmasking with binaural audio processing inspired by the inhibitory effects of the contralateral medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex on compression [Lopez-Poveda, Eustaquio-Martin, Stohl, Wolford, Schatzer, and Wilson (2016). Ear Hear. 37, e138-e148]. The perceptual evidence supporting those benefits, however, is limited to a few target-interferer spatial configurations and to a particular implementation of contralateral MOC inhibition...
April 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Hongmei Hu, Mathias Dietz, Ben Williges, Stephan D Ewert
For a frontal target in spatially symmetrically placed interferers, normal hearing (NH) listeners can use "better-ear glimpsing" to select time-frequency segments with favorable signal-to-noise ratio in either ear. With an ideal monaural better-ear mask (IMBM) processing, some studies showed that NH listeners can reach similar performance as in the natural binaural listening condition, although interaural phase differences at low frequencies can further improve performance. In principle, bilateral cochlear implant (BiCI) listeners could use the same better-ear glimpsing, albeit without exploiting interaural phase differences...
April 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
M Yu Boboshko, I P Berdnikova, E S Garbaruk, M A Salakhbekov, N V Mal'tseva
The objective of the present study was to evaluate to what degree the function of the central auditory pathways influences the intelligibility of the speech in the patients suffering from the sensorineural loss of hearing (SNLH). The study included a total of 20 patients at the age varying from 31 to 80 years presenting with moderate to moderately severe symmetrical SNLN. All the patients were permanent hearing aid users. They underwent the standard audiological examination including pure-tone threshold and suprathreshold audimetries together with impedancemetry, the evaluation of the functional ability of the central auditory pathways with special reference to temporal resolution and differential frequency sensitivity, binaural integration, and the ability to distinguish a sound stimulus against the background noise...
2018: Vestnik Otorinolaringologii
Gu Hyeok Kang, Jun Young Uhm, Young Gon Choi, Eun Kye Kang, Soo Young Kim, Won Oh Choo, Seong Sil Chang
Background: Lead and cadmium have been identified as risk factors for hearing loss in animal studies, but large-scale studies targeting the general human population are rare. This study was conducted to investigate the link between heavy metal concentrations in blood and hearing impairment, using a national population-based survey. Methods: The study participants comprised 6409 Koreans aged 20 or older, who were included in the Fifth and Sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES 2010-2013)...
2018: Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Marc R Schädler, Anna Warzybok, Birger Kollmeier
The simulation framework for auditory discrimination experiments (FADE) was adopted and validated to predict the individual speech-in-noise recognition performance of listeners with normal and impaired hearing with and without a given hearing-aid algorithm. FADE uses a simple automatic speech recognizer (ASR) to estimate the lowest achievable speech reception thresholds (SRTs) from simulated speech recognition experiments in an objective way, independent from any empirical reference data. Empirical data from the literature were used to evaluate the model in terms of predicted SRTs and benefits in SRT with the German matrix sentence recognition test when using eight single- and multichannel binaural noise-reduction algorithms...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
M Torben Pastore, Sarah J Natale, William A Yost, Michael F Dorman
OBJECTIVES: We report on the ability of patients fit with bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) to distinguish the front-back location of sound sources both with and without head movements. At issue was (i) whether CI patients are more prone to front-back confusions than normal hearing listeners for wideband, high-frequency stimuli; and (ii) if CI patients can utilize dynamic binaural difference cues, in tandem with their own head rotation, to resolve these front-back confusions. Front-back confusions offer a binary metric to gain insight into CI patients' ability to localize sound sources under dynamic conditions not generally measured in laboratory settings where both the sound source and patient are static...
April 16, 2018: Ear and Hearing
Joshua G W Bernstein, Olga A Stakhovskaya, Gerald I Schuchman, Kenneth K Jensen, Matthew J Goupell
Current clinical practice in programming a cochlear implant (CI) for individuals with single-sided deafness (SSD) is to maximize the transmission of speech information via the implant, with the implicit assumption that this will also result in improved spatial-hearing abilities. However, binaural sensitivity is reduced by interaural place-of-stimulation mismatch, a likely occurrence with a standard CI frequency-to-electrode allocation table (FAT). As a step toward reducing interaural mismatch, this study investigated whether a test of interaural-time-difference (ITD) discrimination could be used to estimate the acoustic frequency yielding the best place match for a given CI electrode...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
T P Doubell, A Alsetrawi, D A S Bastawrous, M A S Bastawrous, A Daibes, A Jadalla, J W H Schnupp
The posterior auricular muscle (PAM) reflex to sounds has been used clinically to determine hearing threshold as an alternative to other audiological diagnostic measures such as the auditory brainstem response. We have shown that the PAM response is also sensitive to interaural timing differences in normally hearing adults. PAM responses were evoked by both ipsilateral/ contralateral monaural stimulation and by binaural stimulation. Introducing sound delays ipsilaterally or contralaterally decreased the PAM response amplitude and increased its latency...
2018: PloS One
Dimitar Spirrov, Maaike Van Eeckhoutte, Lieselot Van Deun, Tom Francart
BACKGROUND: People who use a cochlear implant together with a contralateral hearing aid-so-called bimodal listeners-have poor localisation abilities and sounds are often not balanced in loudness across ears. In order to address the latter, a loudness balancing algorithm was created, which equalises the loudness growth functions for the two ears. The algorithm uses loudness models in order to continuously adjust the two signals to loudness targets. Previous tests demonstrated improved binaural balance, improved localisation, and better speech intelligibility in quiet for soft phonemes...
2018: PloS One
B Wang, C G Wei, K L Cao, X Jin, Y Wang, N Y Wang
Objective: To investigate an effect on speech recognition after bilateral cochlear implants(CI) simultaneously. Methods: Nine subjects who underwent bilateral CI operation simultaneously in Peking Union Hospital in 2007 were assigned as bilateral group, another 9 subjects with unilateral CI were chosen as unilateral group according to the age, gender, duration of deafness. Hearing threshold, speech recognition of phrases, disyllabic words, single word in quiet and noise environment were calculated, respectively...
March 7, 2018: Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
Emily Buss, Lori J Leibold, Christian Lorenzi
The present study set out to test whether greater susceptibility to modulation masking could be responsible for immature recognition of speech in noise for school-age children. Listeners were normal-hearing four- to ten-year-olds and adults. Target sentences were filtered into 28 adjacent narrow bands (100-7800 Hz), and the masker was either spectrally matched noise bands or tones centered on each of the speech bands. In experiment 1, odd- and even-numbered bands of target-plus-masker were presented to opposite ears...
March 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Erin Nelson, Ruth M Reeder, Laura K Holden, Jill B Firszt
Binaural hearing allows listeners to take advantage of auditory cues that are necessary for sound localization. Patients with asymmetric or unilateral hearing loss receive degraded or absent binaural cues and often demonstrate decreased sound localization in the horizontal plane. Given the importance of sound localization for everyday function, there is a need for clinically feasible methods to evaluate localization, particularly as validation of intervention for patients with unilateral hearing loss. The present study compared sound localization results obtained for front-facing and rear-facing soundfield systems and for a rear-facing head related transfer function (HRTF) system in two hearing groups, listeners with normal hearing and those with unilateral hearing loss...
March 19, 2018: Hearing Research
Bradley D Winters, Nace L Golding
Utilization of timing-based sound localization cues by neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) depends critically on glycinergic inhibitory inputs. After hearing onset, the strength and subcellular location of these inhibitory inputs are dramatically altered, but the cellular processes underlying this experience-dependent refinement are unknown. Here we reveal a form of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP) in MSO neurons that is dependent on spiking and synaptic activation but is not affected by their fine-scale relative timing at higher frequencies prevalent in auditory circuits...
April 4, 2018: Neuron
Benjamin Dieudonné, Tom Francart
Many hearing-impaired listeners struggle to localize sounds due to poor availability of binaural cues. Listeners with a cochlear implant and a contralateral hearing aid - so-called bimodal listeners - are amongst the worst performers, as both interaural time and level differences are poorly transmitted. We present a new method to enhance head shadow in the low frequencies. Head shadow enhancement is achieved with a fixed beamformer with contralateral attenuation in each ear. The method results in interaural level differences which vary monotonically with angle...
March 12, 2018: Hearing Research
Wiepke J A Koopmans, S Theo Goverts, Cas Smits
OBJECTIVES: The main purpose of this study was to examine developmental effects for speech recognition in noise abilities for normal-hearing children in several listening conditions, relevant for daily life. Our aim was to study the auditory component in these listening abilities by using a test that was designed to minimize the dependency on nonauditory factors, the digits-in-noise (DIN) test. Secondary aims were to examine the feasibility of the DIN test for children, and to establish age-dependent normative data for diotic and dichotic listening conditions in both stationary and interrupted noise...
March 16, 2018: Ear and Hearing
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