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Hearing impairment goes with speech perception difficulties, presumably not only because of poor hearing sensitivity but also because of altered central auditory processing. Critical herein is temporal processing of the speech envelope, mediated by synchronization of neural activity to the envelope modulations. It has been suggested that hearing impairment is associated with enhanced sensitivity to envelope modulations which, in turn, relates to poorer speech perception. To verify this hypothesis, we performed a comparative electrophysiological study in hearing-impaired (HI) and normal-hearing (NH) human listeners of three age groups, investigating neural envelope encoding. HI young and middle-aged adults showed enhanced neural synchronization to envelope modulations relative to NH controls, particularly when stimulus audibility was corrected for. At an older age, the degree of neural synchronization was similar for HI and NH persons, yet HI persons showed a synchronization asymmetry toward the right hemisphere. This study demonstrates that hearing impairment is characterized by changes in the neural encoding of envelope modulations, the nature of which varies with age.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neurobiology of aging
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Professionals skilled at diagnostic testing of hearing, HEARING IMPAIRMENT, and CORRECTION OF HEARING IMPAIRMENT by non-medical or non-surgical means.
Procedures for correcting HEARING DISORDERS.
The teaching or training of those individuals with hearing disability or impairment.
The study of hearing and hearing impairment.
Hearing loss due to damage or impairment of both the conductive elements (HEARING LOSS, CONDUCTIVE) and the sensorineural elements (HEARING LOSS, SENSORINEURAL) of the ear.
Hearing, auditory perception, or audition is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. Sound may be heard through solid, liquid, or gaseous mat...