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Auditory Current Events, Auditory News Articles.
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Non-invasive mapping helps to localize language centers before brain surgery
A new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique may provide neurosurgeons with a non-invasive tool to help in mapping critical areas of the brain before surgery, reports a study in the Apr. issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. (2013-04-08)

Brain training using sounds can help aging brain ignore distractions
As we age, we have an increasingly harder time ignoring distractions. But new research online Nov. 20 in the Cell Press journal Neuron reveals that by learning to make discriminations of a sound amidst progressively more disruptive distractions, we can diminish our distractibility. A similar strategy might also help children with attention deficits or individuals with other mental challenges. (2014-11-20)

Music thought to enhance intelligence, mental health and immune system
New research examines how humans process music and its positive effects on our health and humanity. (2006-06-22)

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Oct. 8 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience: (2008-10-07)

Blame it on the bossa nova: How music changes our perception of touch
Music touches. Until recently, this was only meant in a figurative way -- now it can also be taken literally. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have found that touch is perceived differently, depending on the music being played. The sexier we perceive the music we are listening to, the more sensual we experience the contact if we think we are touched by another person. (2017-09-04)

NYU among Nature Index's 2016 Rising Stars
New York University has been named among the 2016 'Rising Stars' by Nature Index, a database of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality science journals. (2016-07-27)

CSHL neuroscientists identify class of cortical inhibitory neurons that specialize in disinhibition
New research now reveals that one class of inhibitory neurons -- called VIP interneurons -- specializes in inhibiting other inhibitory neurons in multiple regions of cortex, and does so under specific behavioral conditions. The new research finds that VIP interneurons, when activated, release principal cells from inhibition, thus boosting their responses. This provides an additional layer of control over cortical processing, much like a dimmer switch can fine-tune light levels. (2013-10-06)

Listen up!
Medical school students and residents are all ears this fall as they get ready to show off their heartbeat listening skills. The United States Medical Licensing Examination board has phased in an audio portion testing the ability to recognize and identify heart murmurs. (2008-08-25)

Early scents really do get 'etched' in the brain
Common experience tells us that particular scents of childhood can leave quite an impression, for better or for worse. Now, researchers reporting the results of a brain imaging study online on Nov. 5 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, show that first scents really do enjoy a (2009-11-05)

Helping kids hear better
A first-of-its-kind study discovered that many hard-of-hearing children who receive optimal, early services are able to 'catch up or significantly close the gaps with their hearing peers,' say researchers at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2015-10-27)

NYU researchers ID part of the brain for processing speech
A team of NYU neuroscientists has identified a part of the brain exclusively devoted to processing speech, helping settle a long-standing debate about role-specific neurological functions. (2015-05-18)

Scientists gain insights into how Fragile X syndrome disrupts perception
A collaboration between scientists in Belgium, the United States, Norway, France and the UK has resulted in a study that sheds light on the neural mechanisms of Fragile X syndrome. This genetic disorder, which affects males twice as often as females due to males' single X chromosome, causes disruptions in the way neurons transmit information to each other. (2017-05-05)

Lost in translation: To the untrained zebra finch ear, jazzy courtship songs fall flat
Zebra finches brought up without their fathers don't react to the singing of potential suitors in the same way that female birds usually do. (2017-07-10)

Human and dog brains both have dedicated 'voice areas'
The first study to compare brain function between humans and any non-primate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do. Dog brains, like those of people, are also sensitive to acoustic cues of emotion, according to a study in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Feb. 20. (2014-02-20)

Brainwave activity reveals potential biomarker for autism in children
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects children's social and intellectual development. Conventional diagnostic methods for ASD rely on behavioral observation. Researchers based at Japan's Kanazawa University have identified a potential quantifiable biomarker for diagnosing ASD. Using magnetic brainwave imaging, they correlated altered gamma oscillation with the motor response of children with ASD, which is consistent with previous key hypotheses on ASD. The means of observation potentially offers a noninvasive, impartial form of early diagnosis of ASD. (2018-10-26)

Older Neandertal survived with a little help from his friends
An older Neandertal from about 50,000 years ago, who had suffered multiple injuries and other degenerations, became deaf and must have relied on the help of others to avoid prey and survive well into his 40s, indicates a new analysis published Oct. 20 in the online journal PLoS ONE. (2017-10-23)

It's not your ears, it's your brain
The reason you may have to say something twice when talking to older family members at Thanksgiving dinner may not be because of their hearing. Researchers at the University of Maryland have determined that something is going on in the brains of typical older adults that causes them to struggle to follow speech amidst background noise, even when their hearing would be considered normal on a clinical assessment. (2016-10-18)

New research sheds light on potentially negative effects of cannabis
Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study by Washington State University researchers. (2020-03-30)

Researchers studying hearing loss find auditory regions of the brain convert to the sense of touch
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have discovered that adult animals with hearing loss actually re-route the sense of touch into the hearing parts of the brain. (2009-03-24)

How do consumers see a product when they hear music?
Shoppers are more likely to buy a product from a different location when a pleasant sound coming from a particular direction draws attention to the item, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. (2013-10-15)

In the developing ears of opossums, echoes of evolutionary history
In a new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, animal scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, King's College London, and the University of Chicago have discovered that hidden in the development of opossums is one possible version of the evolutionary path that led from the simple ears of reptiles to the more elaborative and sensitive structures of mammals, including humans. (2017-02-15)

How does the brain respond to hearing loss?
Researchers at the University of Colorado suggest that the portion of the brain devoted to hearing can become reorganized even with early-stage hearing loss, and may play a role in cognitive decline. They have applied fundamental principles of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to forge new connections, to determine the ways it adapts to hearing loss, as well as the consequences of those changes, and their findings will be presented at ASA's 169th meeting. (2015-05-19)

Aboriginal kids can count without numbers
Knowing the words for numbers is not necessary to be able to count, according to a new study of aboriginal children by UCL (University College London) and the University of Melbourne. The study of the aboriginal children -- from two communities which do not have words or gestures for numbers -- found that they were able to copy and perform number-related tasks. The findings, published in the journal PNAS, suggest that we possess an innate mechanism for counting, which may develop differently in children with dyscalculia. (2008-08-18)

From sounds to the meaning
Without understanding the 'referential function' of language (words as 'verbal labels', symbolizing other things) it is impossible to learn a language. Is this implicit knowledge already present early in infants? A study conducted by the Language, Cognition and Development Lab of SISSA says it is. (2015-09-02)

Biologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have demonstrated that people can acquire the capacity for echolocation, although it does take time and work. (2013-08-29)

Men do hear -- but differently than women, brain images show
Research conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine may help resolve an age-old dilemma between the sexes. Men listen with only one side of their brains, while women use both, according to information on brain imaging presented Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the 86th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). (2000-11-27)

Animated tutors help remedial readers, language learners, autistic children
Tools developed by researchers exploring language and speech comprehension can be powerful aids for remedial readers, children with language challenges, and anyone learning a second language, according to psychology professor Dominic Massaro of the University of California, Santa Cruz. (2008-02-14)

Preschool children show awake responses to naptime nonsense words
Hearing has long been suspected as being 'on' all the time -- even in our sleep. Now scientists are reporting results on what is heard and not heard during sleep and what that might mean for a developing brain. At the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9, researchers from Vanderbilt University will present preliminary results from a study in which preschool children showed memory traces for sounds heard during nap time. (2018-11-06)

Syracuse biologist reveals how whales may 'sing' for their supper
Humpback whales have a trick or two, when it comes to finding a quick snack at the bottom of the ocean. Even in the dark. Susan Parks, assistant professor of Biology in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with a consortium of other researchers, has been studying these unique feeding behaviors. Her research emphasizes the importance of specific auditory cues that these mammoth creatures emit, as they search the deep ocean for their prey. (2014-12-16)

Solving the 'Cocktail Party Problem': How we can focus on 1 speaker in noisy crowds
In the din of a crowded room, paying attention to just one speaker's voice can be challenging. Research demonstrates how the brain hones in on one speaker to solve this (2013-03-06)

Researchers find neuroanatomical signature for schizophrenia
Findings indicate the right anterior insula of brain may play a role in schizophrenia as well as other Axis I disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, etc. across ethnic groups despite differences in symptoms. (2015-09-10)

Smoking interferes with thinking and memory in recovering alcoholics
After six to nine months of abstinence from alcohol, recovering alcoholics who were also chronic smokers showed a significantly lower rate of improvement in tests of memory, reasoning, judgment and visual/spatial coordination than non-smoking recovering alcoholics in a study conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. (2007-06-29)

High blood pressure may make it difficult for the elderly to think clearly
Adding another reason for people to watch their blood pressure, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that increased blood pressure in older adults is directly related to decreased cognitive functioning, particularly among seniors with already high blood pressure. This means that stressful situations may make it more difficult for some seniors to think clearly. (2008-12-15)

Dyslexic children use nearly five times the brain area to perform an ordinary language task as normal children
Dylexic children use nearly five times the brain area as normal children while performing a simple language task, according to a University of Washington study. The research also shows for the first time that there are chemical differences in the brain function of dyslexic and non- dyslexic children. (1999-10-04)

Musical training improves visual timing
Drummers and brass players are better able to judge the timing of visual stimuli than members of the color guard, according to a naturalistic study of the world-class drum corps Bluecoats published in eNeuro. This counterintuitive finding extends previous research demonstrating superior sensory learning and memory from cross-training the brain's audio and visual systems. (2018-11-21)

Overactive nerves in head and neck may account for 'ringing in the ears'
Baby boomers know all too well that (2008-01-10)

Babies able to tell through visual cues when speakers switch languages: UBC study
At four months, babies can tell whether a speaker has switched to a different language from visual cues alone, according to a University of British Columbia study. (2007-05-24)

EPA funds free, online environmental enforcement training
Funded by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas launched a free, online training program to strengthen civil and criminal environmental and public health enforcement efforts at the local, county, state, and tribal levels. (2014-07-08)

Vibrating steering wheel guides drivers while keeping their eyes on the road
A vibrating steering wheel is an effective way to keep a driver's eyes safely on the road by providing an additional means to convey directions from a car's navigation system, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have shown. (2012-04-24)

Cochlear implantation improved speech perception, cognitive function in older adults
Cochlear implantation was associated with improved speech perception and cognitive function in adults 65 years or older with profound hearing loss, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. (2015-03-12)

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