Speech and Hearing Brochure
Description of the Influence of auditory perception on behavior
Auditory perception is the brains ability to inter-pret and create a clear impression of sounds.
We have the ability to receive information from our surroundings through sound. Auditory be-havior is based upon information in the auditory stimuli.
As humans we have the ability to perceive infor-mation through sound. We react to certain situa-tions based on the sounds that we hear.
When we hear different sounds we have the ability to react in the appropriate manner pertain-ing to the sounds.
Auditory perception can affect our behavior de-pending on the type of noise or sound we hear. If we take a moment and stop whatever we are doing and just listen to our surroundings by low-ering the phone, closing the laptop or closing our eyes to listen, we will definitely hear all kinds of noise, whether something perceived as noisy depends, on who you are and what you’ve done in your life. Most of the time, loud noise can be very damaging to our hearing, because of the noise level and the length of time a person is exposed to the noise, therefore, putting their hearing at risk. Very loud noise can cause per-manent hearing loss and once hearing is de-stroyed, the hearing nerve and its sensory nerve cells do not repair (ASHA, 1997-2016).
The Sense of Hearing
According to the Society for Neuroscience, hearing allows us to communicate with each other by receiving sounds and interpreting speech (Society, 2012). Hearing provides information that is crucial to our survival by alerting us to dangers and for communicating daily to carry out functions (Society, 2012).
What is the perceptual process for hearing? What are the factors that contribute to auditory localization? Can the influence of auditory perception on behavior be described? What is the effect of hearing loss on auditory perception on behavior? These questions are answered in this brochure.
Factors that Contribute to Auditory Localization
The two main factors contributing to auditory localization are:
The outer ear (pinna) which is responsible for hearing things facing forward (NC, 2003-2015).
Triangulation of both ears which is referred to as surround sound which determines the location of various sounds (NC, 2003-2015).
There are two differences in how sound is heard in both ears:
Sounds coming from the side will amplify the ear closest to the sound and the sound will be heard louder in that ear (NC, 2003-2015).
Sounds heard by both ears due to sound traveling in waves will produce a slight delay from the first to second ear. This is where the brain communicates with the cochlea’s to encourage them to be more or less sensitive to the ears (NC, 2003-2015).
The auditory nerve fibers transmits information about frequencies to the brain and it is analyzed by multiple brain centers as it flows from the auditory cortex which is responsible for perceiving sound and responding to tones (Society, 2012).
Perceptual Process for Hearing
Humans can hear sounds that are between 20 and 20,000 hertz. Hearing depends on the presence of sound waves that are created due to the changes in pressure, which are generated by vibrating molecules. Timbre, pitch, and loudness are the three influences that affect the sound waves. Knowing the structure of the ear is important to understanding how hearing works. The ear contains three sections: the outer, middle, and inner ear. The mechanisms of sound interpretation are poorly understood, in fact it is not yet clear whether all people interpret sounds in the same way. Until recently, there has been no way to trace the wiring of the brain to apply simple stimuli and see which parts of the nervous system respond, at least not in any detail. The only research method available is having people listen to sounds and describe what they heard. The mechanics of hearing are straightforward and well understood, but the action of the brain interpreting sounds is still a matter of dispute among researchers. (Zekveld, 2016), (Elsea, 1996).
Effect of Hearing Loss on Auditory Perception on Behavior
Hearing loss effects 40 -50% of adults over the age of 65, and many have a meas-urable hearing impairment (Wingfield et al, 2015). This makes hearing loss the third most prevalent chronic medical condition in older adults. Hearing loss not only effects auditory perception but also influences behaviors because there is a loss of the hair cells in the inner ear which are responsible for the vibrations that turn into neural impulses to reach the brain. These cells that are missing are the ones that are responsive to the high frequency sounds, which are important for percep-tion of speech. Without these hair cells it is difficult for the person to hear and understand what is being said in instances such as, being in a crowded restaurant, or when two people are talking at once. It has been discovered that successful perception of speech that is degraded by hearing loss draws on the cognitive resources that might be used for drawing on the memory, and also causes the person to not be able to comprehend normal everyday rapid speech (Wingfield et al, 2015). Other than cognitive perception, hearing loss influences other areas such as, biological, social and emotional health. For example, people with a hear-ing impairment are more likely to avoid social situations and this impacts emotional and physical health (Wingfield et al, 2015). Hearing loss also effects children which results in behavior issues. Children with hearing loss of 30-38 percent have a higher rate of behavior problems in comparison to children with normal hearing that ranges from 3-18% (Barker et al, 2009) It is not quite known exactly why behavior problems are worse with children with hearing problems but it is assumed that parent- child communications are important to the development and socialization of children and communication is a struggle with hearing impaired children.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, (1997-2016), www.asha.org/public/hearing/noise
Barker, D. H., Quittner, A. L., Fink, N. E., Eisenberg, L. S., Tobey, E. A., Niparko, J. K., & The CDaCI. Investigative Team. (2009). Predicting behavior problems in deaf and hearing children: The influences of language, attention, and parent–child communication. Development and Psychopathology, 21(2), 373–392. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2730756/
Elsea, P. (1996). Hearing and perception. Retrieved from http://artsites.ucsc.edu/ems/music/tech background/te-03/teces 03-html
NC Hearing Loss. (2003-2015). Localization. Retrieved from http://www.nchearingloss.org/localiza.htm?fromncshhh
Society for Neuroscience. (2012). Senses and perception. Retrieved from http://www.brainfacts.org/sensing-thinking-behaving/senses-and-perception/articles/2012/hearing
Wingfield, A., &Peelle, J. E. (2015). The effects of hearing loss on neural processing and plasticity. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 35. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4351590/
Zekveld, H. (2016). Auditory perceptual learning in adults with and without age-related hearing loss. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(31), 1826.
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