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Why are harsh sounds so unbearable for the human brain?

Why are harsh sounds so unbearable for the human brain?

Most, if not all, of us find harsh noises, such as those that car alarms make, difficult to bear. New research looks at what happens in the brain during exposure to these auditory stimuli. Harsh noises activate brain regions that play a role in pain and aversion, a new study has found. Grating noises, such […]

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Protein discovery could lead to new hearing loss treatments

Protein discovery could lead to new hearing loss treatments

A new genetic study in mice has identified two proteins that help organize the development of the hair cells that pick up sound waves in the inner ear. New treatments for hearing loss may be on the horizon. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, believe that their findings could hold […]

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Quietness better than background music for creativity

Quietness better than background music for creativity

Recent research questions the popular notion that listening to music increases creativity. Instead, it proposes that quietness, or even background library noise, is more beneficial. Many people say that music helps them focus, but the researchers behind a new study beg to differ. After conducting a series of experiments with human volunteers, researchers from the […]

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What and when can a fetus hear?

What and when can a fetus hear?

People often wonder if a fetus can hear while in the womb. Many expectant parents will speak to or play music for a developing fetus. Evidence suggests that the auditory system starts forming at the 18th week of pregnancy and continues to develop until the baby is between 5 and 6 months of age. Everything […]

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Hearing loss and cognitive decline: Study probes link

Hearing loss and cognitive decline: Study probes link

Recent research adds to a growing body of knowledge that links hearing loss with cognitive decline, which is a hallmark of dementia and often precedes the disease. Research suggests a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. After analyzing 8 years of data from a health study of more than 10,000 men, scientists at Brigham […]

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Reversing hearing loss by regrowing hairs

Reversing hearing loss by regrowing hairs

Humans are unable to reverse the effects of hearing loss, but a biological process found in other animal species may hold the key to reversing this widespread problem. Reversing hearing loss is currently impossible. How the brain interprets sounds is a relatively simple process. First, a sound enters the ear via soundwaves. It then moves […]

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The brain uses its ‘autocorrect’ feature to make out sounds

The brain uses its ‘autocorrect’ feature to make out sounds

New research has zoomed in on the brain’s speech recognition abilities, uncovering the mechanism through which the brain discerns between ambiguous sounds. The brain deploys fascinating mechanisms to make out sounds. “Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is […]

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Tinnitus: Mindfulness may succeed where other treatments fail

Tinnitus: Mindfulness may succeed where other treatments fail

New findings add to evidence that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help people with tinnitus — particularly those who have tried other treatments but to no avail. Tinnitus is often characterized by an incessant ringing sound in the ears. In tinnitus, a person hears noises even though there is no external source for the sound. Approximately […]