Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Selective hearing? It’s in the brain, not in ears

London: Selective hearing? It’s all in the brain, and not ear, say scientists. A new study has revealed that selective hearing — the ability to filter out unwanted noise and conversation — exists and it is the brain that “zooms in” on sound acting like radio by tuning into certain noises while ignoring everything else.

The study could help explain why people with hearing difficulties lose this ability and are swamped by background noise, thereby pave the way for combating deafness. “We are only just beginning to appreciate the role the brain and this research gives us hope for improving not just the performance of implants and hearing aids,but the lives of people with hearing disabilities everywhere”, Vivienne Michael of Deafness Research UK, which is carrying out the study, said. Simultaneously, a team at University College London’s Ear Institute is using a variety of techniques to investigate the issue, including psychophysics, the study of sensations, and neurophysiology, the study of nervous system and brain. PTI

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