Neural signatures of working memory in age-related hearing loss.

07:00 EST 11th January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Neural signatures of working memory in age-related hearing loss."

Age-related hearing loss affects the ability to hear high frequencies and therefore leads to difficulties in understanding speech, particularly under adverse listening conditions. This decrease in hearing can be partly compensated by the recruitment of executive functions, such as working memory. The compensatory effort may, however, lead to a decrease in available neural resources compromising cognitive abilities. We here aim to investigate whether mild to moderate hearing loss impacts prefrontal functions and related executive processes and whether these are related to speech-in-noise perception abilities. Nineteen hard of hearing and nineteen age-matched normal-hearing participants performed a working memory task to drive prefrontal activity, which was gauged with functional magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, speech-in-noise understanding, cognitive flexibility and inhibition control were assessed. Our results showed no differences in frontoparietal activation patterns and working memory performance between normal-hearing and hard of hearing participants. The behavioral assessment of further executive functions, however, provided evidence of lower cognitive flexibility in hard of hearing participants. Cognitive flexibility and hearing abilities further predicted speech-in-noise perception. We conclude that neural and behavioral signatures of working memory are intact in mild to moderate hearing loss. Moreover, cognitive flexibility seems to be closely related to hearing impairment and speech-in-noise perception and should, therefore, be investigated in future studies assessing age-related hearing loss and its implications on prefrontal functions.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuroscience
ISSN: 1873-7544


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Hearing loss due to exposure to explosive loud noise or chronic exposure to sound level greater than 85 dB. The hearing loss is often in the frequency range 4000-6000 hertz.

Hearing loss due to disease of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS (in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM) which originate in the COCHLEAR NUCLEI of the PONS and then ascend bilaterally to the MIDBRAIN, the THALAMUS, and then the AUDITORY CORTEX in the TEMPORAL LOBE. Bilateral lesions of the auditory pathways are usually required to cause central hearing loss. Cortical deafness refers to loss of hearing due to bilateral auditory cortex lesions. Unilateral BRAIN STEM lesions involving the cochlear nuclei may result in unilateral hearing loss.

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.

Loss of the ability to form new memories beyond a certain point in time. This condition may be organic or psychogenic in origin. Organically induced anterograde amnesia may follow CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA; SEIZURES; ANOXIA; and other conditions which adversely affect neural structures associated with memory formation (e.g., the HIPPOCAMPUS; FORNIX (BRAIN); MAMMILLARY BODIES; and ANTERIOR THALAMIC NUCLEI). (From Memory 1997 Jan-Mar;5(1-2):49-71)

Hearing loss without a physical basis. Often observed in patients with psychological or behavioral disorders.

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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...

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