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Hearing and Cognition: The Next Generation of Hearing Aids

Research currently underway at UC-Berkeley and the Starkey Hearing Research Center in Berkeley, California, has introduced a new yardstick by which to measure the effectiveness of a hearing aid the aids ability to facilitate cognitive thought.

For years, hearing impairments and delayed cognitive development the ability to listen, assess, remember and utilize sound (usually in the form of human speech) have been treated by two distinct areas of science hearing science and psychology. The latest research indicates a direct correlation between hearing impairment and cognitive development the ability to use sound-based input.

According to Brent Edwards, Executive Director of the Starkey Hearing Research Center, hearing problems lead to slower learning, segregation from the environment and others, poor memory and other non-hearing related conditions. The brain uses so much of its resources just to mange the hearing process that it lacks the resources to further develop the ability to effectively use what the individual hears.

Weve Come Long Way

but theres still a long way to go in the development of hearing aids that not only improve audio quality, but also improves cognition understanding and utilization of incoming sound.

Edwards looks to science to address the challenges that lie ahead in hearing aid development. Digital technology has improved sound quality and the naturalness of hearing through the use of automation to manage routine functions like volume level and feedback suppression. Technology and engineering have taken us this far. The science of hearing will show us what direction to take in the future to facilitate cognitive development in hearing aid users.

Working together, hearing science and technology will collaborate to develop and manufacture the next generation of hearing aids.

(Click here to view complete article)

Courtesy of HealthyHearing.com

More information about the Starkey Hearing Foundation can be found at www.sotheworldmayhear.org

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