The brain's remarkable ability to perceive the outside world relies almost entirely on its capacity to tune out noise generated by the body's own actions, according to a first-of-its-kind study in electric fish led by scientists at Columbia University.
New research by UC San Francisco scientists reveals what area of the human brain controls the vocal folds of the larynx, or voice box, to let us control the pitch of our speech. Insights into pitch control could pave the way for advanced brain prosthetics that could allow people who can't speak to express themselves in a naturalistic way.
A small-molecule drug is the first to preserve hearing in a mouse model of an inherited form of progressive human deafness, report investigators at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The study, which appears online in Cell, sheds light on the molecular mechanism that underlies a form of deafness (DFNA27), and suggests a new treatment strategy.
Among primates, humans are uniquely able to consciously control the pitch of their voices, making it possible to hit high notes in singing or stress a word in a sentence to convey meaning. On June 28 in the journal Cell, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco narrow in on a region of the brain's frontal lobe that controls the "voice box" muscles that are responsible for vocal pitch.
A new study reveals gaps in whether older Americans get help for hearing loss -- gaps that vary greatly with age, race, education and income. In all, just over a third of those who said they have hearing loss use a hearing aid to correct it. But those who are non-Hispanic white, college-educated or have higher incomes were about twice as likely as those of other races, education levels or income ranges to have hearing aids.
Using transcranial magnetic stimulation and network control theory, researchers have taken a novel approach to understanding how signals travel across the brain's highways and how stimulation can lead to better cognitive function.
Scientists published the first hearing tests on a wild population of healthy marine mammals. The tests on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, AK, revealed that the whales have sensitive hearing abilities and the number of animals that experienced extensive hearing losses was far less than what scientists had anticipated.
Giving the drug sodium thiosulphate after chemotherapy reduces hearing loss in children treated for liver cancer, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
More than a million neonatal deaths worldwide each year are estimated to be due to sepsis. Many patients receive antibiotic therapy during their hospital stay, but babies with a specific genetic change can suffer irreversible hearing loss as a result. Now, a rapid test for distinguishing those infants who will have this adverse reaction to gentamicin has been developed.
The effect of portable music players on the hearing of children is unclear. A new study found that about one in seven children (9-11 years of age) showed signs of noise-induced hearing impairment, prior to exposure to known noise hazards such as club and concert attendance. Portable music players, used by 40 percent of 2,075 children in the study from the Netherlands, were associated with high-frequency hearing loss. Repeated measurements are needed to confirm this association.