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Hearing Research

Qinglin Meng, Xianren Wang, Yuexin Cai, Fanhui Kong, Alexa Nadezhda Buck, Guangzheng Yu, Nengheng Zheng, Jan W H Schnupp
Faster speech may facilitate more efficient communication, but if speech is too fast it becomes unintelligible. The maximum speeds at which Mandarin words were intelligible in a sentence context were quantified for normal hearing (NH) and cochlear implant (CI) listeners by measuring time-compression thresholds (TCTs) in an adaptive staircase procedure. In Experiment 1, both original and CI-vocoded time-compressed speech from the MSP (Mandarin speech perception) and MHINT (Mandarin hearing in noise test) corpora was presented to 10 NH subjects over headphones...
January 31, 2019: Hearing Research
Jean Defourny, Nicolas Thelen, Marc Thiry
Hereditary hearing loss affects about 1 per 1000 children. Mutations in GJB2, which encodes the connexin 26 protein (Cx26) involved in cochlear homeostasis, are found in about 50% of patients with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. Deciphering the trafficking pathway of cochlear Cx26 in situ should represent an advance in understanding the pathogenic significance of many of these mutations. Connexins trafficking and delivery to lipid raft-associated gap junction plaques usually requires successively microtubule and actin networks...
January 30, 2019: Hearing Research
Peter T Johannesen, Byanka C Buzo, Enrique A Lopez-Poveda
Cochlear synaptopathy (or the loss of primary auditory synapses) remains a subclinical condition of uncertain prevalence. Here, we investigate whether it affects humans and whether it contributes to suprathreshold speech-in-noise intelligibility deficits. For 94 human listeners with normal audiometry (aged 12-68 years; 64 women), we measured click-evoked auditory brainstem responses (ABRs), self-reported lifetime noise exposure, and speech reception thresholds for sentences (at 65 dB SPL) and words (at 50, 65 and 80 dB SPL) in steady-state and fluctuating maskers...
January 24, 2019: Hearing Research
Hannah Guest, Kevin J Munro, Garreth Prendergast, Christopher J Plack
Investigations of cochlear synaptopathy in living humans rely on proxy measures of auditory nerve function. Numerous procedures have been developed, typically based on the auditory brainstem response (ABR), envelope-following response (EFR), or middle-ear-muscle reflex (MEMR). Validation is challenging, due to the absence of a gold-standard measure in humans. Some metrics correlate with synaptic survival in animal models, but translation between species is not straightforward; measurements in humans are likely to reflect greater error and greater variability from non-synaptopathic sources...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Isabel Varela-Nieto, Ignacio Palmero, Marta Magariños
The development of the inner ear complex cytoarchitecture and functional geometry requires the exquisite coordination of a variety of cellular processes in a temporal manner. At early stages of inner ear development several rounds of cell proliferation in the otocyst promote the growth of the structure. The apoptotic program is initiated in exceeding cells to adjust cell type numbers. Apoptotic cells are cleared by phagocytic cells that recognize the phosphatidylserine residues exposed in the cell membrane thanks to the energy supplied by autophagy...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Wei Dong, Glenna Stomackin, Xiaohui Lin, Glen K Martin, Timothy T Jung
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) evoked by two pure tones carry information about the mechanisms that generate and shape them. Thus, DPOAEs hold promise for providing powerful noninvasive diagnostic details of cochlear operations, middle ear (ME) transmission, and impairments. DPOAEs are sensitive to ME function because they are influenced by ME transmission twice, i.e., by the inward-going primary tones in the forward direction and the outward traveling DPOAEs in the reverse direction. However, the effects of ME injuries on DPOAEs have not been systematically characterized...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Pieter Livens, Pieter G G Muyshondt, Joris J J Dirckx
A number of interesting differences become apparent when comparing the hearing systems of terrestrial vertebrates, especially between mammals and non-mammals. Almost all non-mammals possess only a single ossicle, enabling impedance matching and hearing below 10 kHz. The middle ear (ME) evolved as a chain of three ossicles in mammals, enabling sound transmission up to higher frequencies than in similar-sized non-mammals. The relatively low-frequency hearing in non-mammals is associated with audible wavelengths that are significantly larger than the head...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Stephanie J Wong, Kristina S Abrams, Kassidy N Amburgey, Yingxuan Wang, Kenneth S Henry
Auditory-nerve fibers are lost steadily with age and as a possible consequence of noise-induced glutamate excitotoxicity. Auditory-nerve loss in the absence of other cochlear pathologies is thought to be undetectable with a pure-tone audiogram while degrading real-world speech perception (hidden hearing loss). Perceptual deficits remain unclear, however, due in part to the limited behavioral capacity of existing rodent models to discriminate complex sounds. The budgerigar is an avian vocal learner with human-like behavioral sensitivity to many simple and complex sounds and the capacity to mimic speech...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Keiko Hirose, Song-Zhe Li
The blood-perilymph barrier serves a critical role by separating the components of blood from inner ear fluids, limiting traffic of cells, proteins and other solutes into the labyrinth, and allowing gas (O2 -CO2 ) exchange. Inflammation produces changes in the blood-perilymph barrier resulting in increased vascular permeability. It is commonly thought that compromise of the blood-inner ear barrier would lead to hearing impairment through loss of the endocochlear potential (EP). In fact, the effect of increasing cochlear vascular permeability on hearing function and EP is poorly understood...
January 20, 2019: Hearing Research
Tao Chen, Kyle Smith, Shangyuan Jiang, Tianyu Zhang, Rong Z Gan
Hearing damage caused by blast waves is a frequent and common injury for Service members. However, most studies have focused on high-intensity blast exposures that are known to cause moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), and fewer studies have investigated the progressive hearing damage caused by low-intensity blast exposures (below mild TBI). In this paper, we report our recent study in chinchillas to investigate the auditory function changes over the time course after repetitive exposures to low-intensity blast...
January 17, 2019: Hearing Research
Caroline A Wilson, Joel I Berger, Jessica de Boer, Magdalena Sereda, Alan R Palmer, Deborah A Hall, Mark N Wallace
A common method for measuring changes in temporal processing sensitivity in both humans and animals makes use of GaP-induced Inhibition of the Acoustic Startle (GPIAS). It is also the basis of a common method for detecting tinnitus in rodents. However, the link to tinnitus has not been properly established because GPIAS has not yet been used to objectively demonstrate tinnitus in humans. In guinea pigs, the Preyer (ear flick) myogenic reflex is an established method for measuring the acoustic startle for the GPIAS test, while in humans, it is the eye-blink reflex...
January 17, 2019: Hearing Research
Kohei Yamahara, Nakarin Asaka, Tomoko Kita, Ippei Kishimoto, Mami Matsunaga, Norio Yamamoto, Koichi Omori, Takayuki Nakagawa
In the context of acquired sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), cochlear hair cells have long been thought to be among the most vulnerable elements in mammalian cochleae. However, recent studies have indicated that the synaptic connection between inner hair cells (IHC) and spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) can be an important target for the treatment of SNHL. Our previous studies in patients with sudden SNHL demonstrated delayed and gradual hearing recovery following topical application of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), suggesting that not only protective but also regenerative mechanisms may account for hearing recovery after treatment with IGF-1...
January 17, 2019: Hearing Research
Bradley J Walters, Brandon C Cox
DNA methylation and histone modifications such as methylation, acetylation, and phosphorylation, are two types of epigenetic modifications that alter gene expression. These additions to DNA regulatory elements or to the tails of histones can be inherited or can also occur de novo. Since epigenetic modifications can have significant effects on various processes at both the cellular and organismal level, there has been a rapid increase in research on this topic throughout all fields of biology in recent years...
January 12, 2019: Hearing Research
Hannie Kremer
Hereditary hearing loss is both clinically and genetically very heterogeneous. Despite the large number of genes that have been associated with the condition, many cases remain unexplained. Novel gene associations with hearing loss are to be expected but also are defects of regulatory regions of the genome which are currently not routinely addressed in molecular genetic testing and research. Inheritance patterns other than monogenic might be more common than assumed in isolated cases and diagnoses might have been missed because of misinterpretation of identified DNA variants...
January 10, 2019: Hearing Research
P Cuny, N J Alsolami, I Dobrev, B Warnholtz, C Röösli, J H Sim
In incus stapedotomy surgeries, the longitudinal direction of the piston prosthesis should ideally be perpendicular to the stapes footplate. However, in reality, some amounts of angular deviation of the prosthesis from the ideal angular position is unavoidable due to anatomical constraints and surgical conditions. This study aims to evaluate the influence of angular positioning of the prosthesis on surgical outcomes in incus stapedotomy and to provide surgical guidelines related to practical tolerance of the angular positioning...
January 10, 2019: Hearing Research
Viral D Tejani, Paul J Abbas, Carolyn J Brown, Jihwan Woo
Interest in electrocochleography (ECoG) has recently resurged as a potential tool to assess peripheral auditory function in cochlear implant (CI) users. ECoG recordings can be evoked using acoustic stimulation and recorded from an extra- or intra-cochlear electrode in CI users. Recordings reflect contributions from cochlear hair cells and the auditory nerve. We recently demonstrated the feasibility of using Custom Sound EP (clinically available software) to record ECoG responses in Nucleus Hybrid CI users with preserved acoustic hearing in the implanted ear (Abbas et al, 2017)...
January 9, 2019: Hearing Research
Samantha J Gustafson, Curtis J Billings, Benjamin W Y Hornsby, Alexandra P Key
Child listeners have particular difficulty with speech perception when competing speech noise is present; this challenge is often attributed to their immature top-down processing abilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if the effects of competing speech noise on speech-sound processing vary with age. Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) were measured during an active speech-syllable discrimination task in 58 normal-hearing participants (age 7-25 years). Speech syllables were presented in quiet and embedded in competing speech noise (4-talker babble, +15 dB signal-to-noise ratio; SNR)...
January 9, 2019: Hearing Research
Rickye S Heffner, Gimseong Koay, Henry E Heffner
The Scn8amedJ mutation of the gene for sodium channels at the nodes of Ranvier slows nerve conduction, resulting in motor abnormalities. This mutation is also associated with loss of spontaneous bursting activity in the dorsal cochlear nucleus. However initial tests of auditory sensitivity in mice homozygous for this mutation, using standard 400-ms tones, demonstrated normal hearing sensitivity. Further testing, reported here, revealed a severely compromised sensitivity to short-duration tones of 10 and 2 ms durations...
January 4, 2019: Hearing Research
A Catalina Vélez-Ortega, Gregory I Frolenkov
Despite all recent achievements in identification of the molecules that are essential for the structure and mechanosensory function of stereocilia bundles in the auditory hair cells of mammalian species, we still have only a rudimentary understanding of the mechanisms of stereocilia formation, maintenance, and repair. Important molecular differences distinguishing mammalian auditory hair cells from hair cells of other types and species have been recently revealed. In addition, we are beginning to solve the puzzle of the apparent life-long stability of the stereocilia bundles in these cells...
January 2, 2019: Hearing Research
Xiuping Liu, Oliver Zhang, Jiyao Qi, Amber Chen, Kaili Hu, Jun Yan
Auditory cortex exhibit a capacity of modulating the functions of subcortical auditory nuclei and even inner ear through descending pathways. The cochlear nucleus (CN), which acts as the gateway from the auditory periphery to the central auditory system, is also subjected to corticofugal modulation. Cortical modulation of subcortical nuclei is highly specific to the frequency tunings of cortical and subcortical neurons. It is unclear whether the high frequency-specificity of the cortical modulation of CN frequency tuning is implemented in the CN, in the auditory periphery, or in both...
December 31, 2018: Hearing Research
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