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Frontiers for Young Minds

Hearing – Not Just For Your Ears Anymore


Everyone learns about the senses from when we are very young. We smell with our noses, taste with our tongues, see with our eyes, touch with our skin, and listen with our ears … right? When scientists study our senses, they find that things are a bit more complicated. The sensory inputs that we receive [...]

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Guest Blog

To Turn Up the Music, Cochlear Implants Need a Software Update

While you’re humming along to the Talking Heads, I’d like to consider another group who can listen to the Talking Heads without really hearing them. For a person with a cochlear implant, a surgically implanted device that restores hearing in someone who is profoundly deaf, listening to music isn’t the rich, sensory experience that a [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can Synesthesia in Autism Lead to Savantism?

Daniel Tammet has memorized Pi to the 22,514th digit. He speaks ten different languages, including one of his own invention, and he can multiply enormous sums in his head within a matter of seconds. However, he is unable to hold down a standard 9-to-5 job, in part due to his obsessive adherence to ritual, down [...]

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Lasker Awards to Honor Neuroscience, Hearing and Philanthropy Work

Image: Lasker Foundation

  Let the Nobel Prize watch begin. Two areas of major medical discovery and two leading public health philanthropists were announced this morning as the winners of the prestigious Lasker Awards. The awards, currently in their 68th year, are typically looked to as a precursor for the Nobel Prize and are informally dubbed the “American [...]

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Exploring the Musical Brain at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

graphic showing musical notes

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Wandering through what seems like miles of presentations, posters, and excited scientists at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting, I can’t help but overhear a lot. Conversations about everything from the ventral medial prefrontal cortex to fMRI; social rewards to serotonin. There is something about the buzzing hum of thousands of voices and [...]

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French Bug Plays 100-Decibel Mating Call on Genitalia

loudest bug recorded song mating call penis

Whales can boom their songs across thousands of kilometers of ocean, and elephants’ low-frequency calls can be heard by other pachyderms several kilometers away. But when body size is taken into consideration, these mammoth mammals produce but a relative whisper compared with other animals—especially one odd arthropod. The water boatman (Micronecta scholtzi), a 2.3-millimeter-long insect, [...]

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Octopuses and squids are damaged by noise pollution

squid hearing damaged by ocean noise pollution

Not only can squids and octopuses sense sound, but as it turns out, these and other so-called cephalopods might be harmed by growing noise pollution in our oceans—from sources such as offshore drilling, ship motors, sonar use and pile driving. "We know that noise pollution in the oceans has a significant impact on dolphins and [...]

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Music to the (ringing) ears: New therapy targets tinnitus

tinnitus ringing music therapy treatment

Loud, persistent ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, can be vexing for its millions of sufferers. This perceived noise can be symptomatic of many different ills—from earwax to aging—but the most common cause is from noise-induced hearing loss, such as extended exposure to construction or loud music, and treating many of its underlying neural [...]

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Need Proof That We’re Visual Beings?

In our introductory post, we wrote “let’s face it. We’re visual beings.” Here’s proof:

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Talking back

Just 1 Rock Concert or Football Game May Cause Permanent Hearing Damage

A single exposure to loud but not deafening noise may be enough to precipitate irreparable harm to nerves in the auditory system. This is the take-home from a new line of research that may help explain why many people, particularly as they age, have difficulty in picking out a conversation from the wall of background [...]

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