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Can’t hear clearly, maybe not the problem of the ear

“Can you repeat it again?” Sometimes we may have to repeat it several times when we say something to others, especially with the elderly. Most of the time we attribute this to the back of the ear, but the ears are not good. However, the fact may not be So simple. Their ears may be normal, but the brain is out of order.

Recently published in an interdisciplinary study in the Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers from the University of Maryland determined that some older people’s brains often do not allow them to capture the sounds we want them to hear under the influence of environmental noise, even if they The ear function is completely ok. The research focuses on the brain’s ability to focus on and deal with a specific speech in a noisy environment, bringing together professionals in different disciplines such as listening and language science, neuroscience and cognitive science, biology, and systems science. The study showed that elderly people with normal hearing ages of 61-73 years old received significantly more information than people aged 18-30 when listening to speeches in noisy environments.

Can't hear, may not be the problem of the ear

When the subjects listened to others, the researchers used two different scans to monitor their brain’s electrophysiological activity. The experiment was repeated and compared in a quiet environment with a certain noise environment. The researchers mainly monitored the two parts of the brain. It is the midbrain. In most vertebrates, this area is responsible for the basic processing of all sounds. The second is the cerebral cortex, which has evolved in humans and is partly responsible for speech processing.

In the young test group, the midbrain generates a signal in each case to match the task, such as a speech sound in a quiet environment, a clearly identifiable speech sound in a noisy environment relative to other noises. In the test group, even in a quiet environment, the feedback quality of the brain to speech signals was degraded, and the feedback was worse in noisy environments. The neural signal records of the cortex showed that young subjects could be in a relatively short period of time. The received speech signal is processed, and it takes longer for older subjects to process the same signal.

Researcher Simon said: “For the elderly, even without any noise, their brains have been unable to process the voice information received by the ear in time. In a noisy environment, they need more time and work harder to identify A really useful signal.”

So what is the reason? Another researcher, Presacco, said: “This may be related to excitement and inhibition of neurological imbalance in the brain of the elderly. This imbalance compromises the ability of the brain to properly handle auditory stimuli.”

This gradual erosion of brain function is part of the natural aging process and is one of the typical aging manifestations. Researchers later tried to help the elderly improve their brain’s ability to deal with speech stimuli through some brain-based skills training, hoping that there will be Positive research results have emerged.

What are the tips for communicating with older people?

1) Make sure you are focused before talking to older people;

2) When talking to older people, try to face each other as much as possible; visual information can make up for the unspoken verbal information in their brains and help communicate;

3) Talk to the elderly and try to choose a quiet environment;

4) When talking to older people, try to be as clear as possible, with a normal or slow speech rate; especially when communicating with the elderly, there is no need to increase the volume, but you need to slow down the communication rhythm.

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