U of Maryland Receives $8 Million to Research Hearing Loss, Brain Function The National Institute on Aging has awarded $8 million over five years to University of Maryland (UMd) researchers to fund three investigations on age-related hearing loss and brain function. “The effects of hearing loss are not only the incapacity to understand speech and hear it, but it can lead to ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   February 01, 2018
U of Maryland Receives $8 Million to Research Hearing Loss, Brain Function
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   February 01, 2018
U of Maryland Receives $8 Million to Research Hearing Loss, Brain Function
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.23022018.16
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.23022018.16
The National Institute on Aging has awarded $8 million over five years to University of Maryland (UMd) researchers to fund three investigations on age-related hearing loss and brain function.
“The effects of hearing loss are not only the incapacity to understand speech and hear it, but it can lead to isolation [and] depression, and there are also connections between hearing loss and cognitive decline,” says UMd professor Sandra Gordon-Salant, lead investigator. “The overall goal of this project is to help people with age-related hearing loss by training their brains to process speech better.”
The investigators hope the projects help older adults “compensate for hearing changes that occur with aging beyond the ear,” says Samira Anderson, UMd assistant professor. “Some problems aren’t simply not being able to hear, but not being able to process it well either.”
The first research project will look at speech and noise in the auditory cortex to determine if engaged—or active—listening can improve speech recognition.
The second project will identify strategies to help people process acoustic signals—such as rapid speech—which becomes more difficult with age.
In the third project, researchers will monitor the brain activity of older listeners who have difficulty understanding speech in loud environments. The participants will complete a series of simulated video exercises with varying levels of noise, trying to determine what speakers are saying.
In all projects, researchers will test young adults with normal hearing, adults older than 65 with normal hearing, and adults older than 65 with hearing loss.
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February 2018
Volume 23, Issue 2