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Auditory sensitivity

Curtis J Billings, William J Bologna, Ramesh Kumar Muralimanohar, Brandon M Madsen, Michelle R Molis
The spectral (frequency) and amplitude cues in speech change rapidly over time. Study of the neural encoding of these dynamic features may help to improve diagnosis and treatment of speech-perception difficulties. This study uses tone glides as a simple approximation of dynamic speech sounds to better our understanding of the underlying neural representation of speech. The frequency following response (FFR) was recorded from 10 young normal-hearing adults using six signals varying in glide direction (rising and falling) and extent of frequency change (13, 23, and 1 octave)...
January 23, 2019: Hearing Research
Jon Strunk, Audrey Duarte
Healthy aging is associated with declines in episodic memory performance that are due in part to deficits in encoding. Emerging results from young adult studies suggest that the neural activity during the time preceding stimulus presentation is sensitive to episodic memory performance. It is unknown whether age-related declines in episodic memory are due solely to changes in the recruitment of processes elicited by stimuli during encoding or also in processes recruited in anticipation of these stimuli. Here, we recorded oscillatory electroencephalography while young and old participants encoded visual and auditory words that were preceded by cues indicating the stimulus modality...
January 21, 2019: Neurobiology of Aging
Catalina Punin, Boris Barzallo, Roger Clotet, Alexander Bermeo, Marco Bravo, Juan Pablo Bermeo, Carlos Llumiguano
A critical symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the occurrence of Freezing of Gait (FOG), an episodic disorder that causes frequent falls and consequential injuries in PD patients. There are various auditory, visual, tactile, and other types of stimulation interventions that can be used to induce PD patients to escape FOG episodes. In this article, we describe a low cost wearable system for non-invasive gait monitoring and external delivery of superficial vibratory stimulation to the lower extremities triggered by FOG episodes...
February 12, 2019: Sensors
Marina Englert, Livia Lima, Ana Carolina Constantini, Ben Barsties V Latoszek, Youri Maryn, Mara Behlau
PURPOSE: This study aimed to verify the best speech material for the AVQI for Brazilian Portuguese language and identify the best validity results between the auditory perceptual judgment (APJ) and the AVQI score on different speech materials. METHODS: We recorded voice samples of 50 individuals (dysphonic and vocally healthy) of several continuous speech (cs) variants (i.e., months of the year, numbers 1 to 20, and CAPE-V sentences) and attached the vowel /a/ in each case...
February 11, 2019: CoDAS
Wenjuan Yao, Jicheng Zhong, Maoli Duan
OBJECTIVES: Based on CT scan images of healthy human ear, the effects of cochlear hypoplasia on auditory functions was studied. METHODS: Three-dimensional nonlinear finite-element numerical model was developed and used to predict frequency responses of hypoplastic cochleae. The numerical model was validated by comparing the modeling results to reported experimental data. RESULTS: The cochlear hypoplasia compromises sound conduction of middle ear and results in significant decrease of vibration displacement amplitude of stapes foot-plate at frequencies 100 ∼ 1200 Hz with a maximal decrease of 9...
November 2018: Acta Oto-laryngologica
Melissa L Caras, Dan H Sanes
Skill learning is fundamental to the acquisition of many complex behaviors that emerge during development. For example, years of practice give rise to perceptual improvements that contribute to mature speech and language skills. While fully honed learning skills might be thought to offer an advantage during the juvenile period, the ability to learn actually continues to develop through childhood and adolescence, suggesting that the neural mechanisms that support skill learning are slow to mature. To address this issue, we asked whether the rate and magnitude of perceptual learning varies as a function of age as male and female gerbils trained on an auditory task...
February 12, 2019: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Graciela Kearney, Javier Zorrilla de San Martín, Lucas G Vattino, Ana Belén Elgoyhen, Carolina Wedemeyer, Eleonora Katz
In the mature mammalian cochlea, inner hair cells (IHCs) are mainly innervated by afferent fibers that convey sound information to the central nervous system. During postnatal development, however, medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent fibers transiently innervate the IHCs. The MOC-IHC synapse, functional from postnatal day (P)0 to hearing onset (P12), undergoes dramatic changes in the sensitivity to acetylcholine (ACh) and in the expression of key postsynaptic proteins. To evaluate whether there are associated changes in the properties of ACh release during this period, we used a cochlear preparation from mice of either sex at P4, P6-7 and P9-11 and monitored transmitter release from MOC terminals in voltage-clamped IHCs in the whole-cell configuration...
February 12, 2019: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
J Santos-Sacchi
The outer hair cell of Corti's organ provides mechanical feedback into the organ to boost auditory perception. The fidelity of voltage-dependent motility has been estimated to extend beyond 50 kHz, where its force generation is deemed a requirement for sensitive high-frequency mammalian hearing. Recent investigations have shown, however, that the frequency response is substantially more low pass at physiological membrane potentials where the kinetics of prestin impose their speed limit. Nevertheless, it is likely that the reduced magnitude of electromotility is sufficient to drive cochlear amplification at high frequencies...
February 12, 2019: HNO
Gil Menda, Eyal I Nitzany, Paul S Shamble, Amelia Wells, Laura C Harrington, Ronald N Miles, Ronald R Hoy
Mating behavior in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes occurs mid-air and involves the exchange of auditory signals at close range (millimeters to centimeters) [1-6]. It is widely assumed that this intimate signaling distance reflects short-range auditory sensitivity of their antennal hearing organs to faint flight tones [7, 8]. To the contrary, we show here that male mosquitoes can hear the female's flight tone at surprisingly long distances-from several meters to up to 10 m-and that unrestrained, resting Ae. aegypti males leap off their perches and take flight when they hear female flight tones...
January 31, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Chao Wu, Yu Ding, Biqing Chen, Yayue Gao, Qian Wang, Zhemeng Wu, Lingxi Lu, Lu Luo, Changxin Zhang, Xiaohan Bao, Pengcheng Yang, Langchen Fan, Ming Lei, Liang Li
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) can be modulated by both the Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene and the menstrual-cycle-related hormone fluctuations, each of which affects the subcortical/cortical dopamine metabolism. PPI can also be modulated by attention. The attentional modulation of PPI (AMPPI) is sensitive to psychoses. Whether the Val158Met polymorphism affects the AMPPI in female adults at different menstrual-cycle phases is unknown. This study examined whether AMPPI and/or PPI are affected by the Val158Met polymorphism in 177 younger-adult females whose menstrual cycles were mutually different across the menstruation, proliferative, or secretory phases...
February 8, 2019: Neuroscience
Yusra Mansour, Kaitlyn Blackburn, Luis Oscar González-González, Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Randy J Kulesza
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a biological construct defined by abnormal deposits of hyperphosphorylated tau and amyloid-β. The 2050 projection for AD in the USA is 14 million. There is a strong association between AD, air pollution, and traffic. Early diagnosis is imperative for intervention in the initial disease stages. Hearing and, specifically, the ability to encode complex sounds are impaired in AD. Nuclei in the auditory brainstem appear to be sensitive to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders...
February 2, 2019: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD
Robert G Briggs, Dillon P Pryor, Andrew K Conner, Cameron E Nix, Camille K Milton, Joseph K Kuiper, Ali H Palejwala, Michael E Sughrue
BACKGROUND: Arterial disruption during brain surgery can cause devastating injuries to wide expanses of white and grey matter far beyond the tumor resection cavity. Such damage may occur as a result of disrupting blood flow through "en passage" arteries. Identification of these arteries is critical to prevent unforeseen neurologic sequelae during brain tumor resection. In this study, we discuss one such artery, termed the artery of aphasia (AoA), which when disrupted can lead to receptive and expressive language deficits...
February 5, 2019: World Neurosurgery
Jonathan M Frazier, Ashley A Assgari, Christian E Stilp
Auditory perception is shaped by spectral properties of surrounding sounds. For example, when spectral properties differ between earlier (context) and later (target) sounds, this can produce spectral contrast effects (SCEs; i.e., categorization boundary shifts) that bias perception of later sounds. SCEs affect perception of speech and nonspeech sounds alike (Stilp Alexander, Kiefte, & Kluender in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(2), 470-480, 2010). When categorizing speech sounds, SCE magnitudes increased linearly with greater spectral differences between contexts and target sounds (Stilp, Anderson, & Winn in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137(6), 3466-3476, 2015; Stilp & Alexander in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 26, 2016; Stilp & Assgari in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141(2), EL153-EL158, 2017)...
February 6, 2019: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Barbara Dymerska, Pedro De Lima Cardoso, Beata Bachrata, Florian Fischmeister, Eva Matt, Roland Beisteiner, Siegfried Trattnig, Simon Daniel Robinson
OBJECTIVES: Gradients in the static magnetic field caused by tissues with differing magnetic susceptibilities lead to regional variations in the effective echo time, which modifies both image signal and BOLD sensitivity. Local echo time changes are not considered in the most commonly used metric for BOLD sensitivity, temporal signal-to-noise ratio (tSNR), but may be significant, particularly at ultrahigh field close to air cavities (such as the sinuses and ear canals) and near gross brain pathologies and postoperative sites...
February 1, 2019: Investigative Radiology
Susana Cid-Fernández, Mónica Lindín, Fernando Díaz
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) has become a major health issue in recent decades, and there is now growing interest in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), an intermediate stage between healthy aging and dementia, usually AD. Event-related brain potential (ERP) studies have sometimes failed to detect differences between aMCI and control participants in the Go-P3 (or P3b, related to target classification processes in a variety of tasks) and NoGo-P3 (related to response inhibition processes, mainly in Go/NoGo tasks) ERP components...
February 2, 2019: Biological Psychology
Maxime Maheu, Stanislas Dehaene, Florent Meyniel
Extracting the temporal structure of sequences of events is crucial for perception, decision-making, and language processing. Here, we investigate the mechanisms by which the brain acquires knowledge of sequences and the possibility that successive brain responses reflect the progressive extraction of sequence statistics at different timescales. We measured brain activity using magnetoencephalography in humans exposed to auditory sequences with various statistical regularities, and we modeled this activity as theoretical surprise levels using several learning models...
February 4, 2019: ELife
Nadine Thiele, Christine Köppl
Auditory nerve single-unit recordings were obtained from two groups of young barn owls (age, between posthatching days 11 and 86) in terminal experiments under two different anesthetic regimes: ketamine (6-11 mg/kg) plus xylazine (∼2 mg/kg); or isoflurane (1-1.5%) in oxygen, delivered via artificial respiration. In a second series of minimally invasive experiments, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were recorded in the same four adult barn owls ( Tyto alba ; age, between 5 and 32 months) under three different anesthetic protocols: ketamine (10 mg/kg) plus xylazine (3 mg/kg), isoflurane (1-1...
September 2018: ENeuro
Philip X Joris
Relative motion between the body and the outside world is a rich source of information. Neural selectivity to motion is well-established in several sensory systems, but is controversial in hearing. This study examines neural sensitivity to changes in the instantaneous interaural time difference of sounds at the two ears. Midbrain neurons track such changes up to extremely high speeds, show only a coarse dependence of firing rate on speed, and lack directional selectivity. These results argue against the presence of selectivity to auditory motion at the level of the midbrain, but reveal an acuity which enables coding of fast-fluctuating binaural cues in realistic sound environments...
January 2019: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
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
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
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