verse: hearing

Better not vaccinate your kids until you can get their consent either!

Honestly… I understand that someone growing up deaf will become involved in deaf culture and may not want to leave behind that part of their identity. But when the child is a blank slate, so to speak, it’s certainly better for them to be able to hear than not be able to hear.

Source

Making Sense of the Senses: ‘Context’ Matters When the Brain Interprets Sounds

The brain’s interpretation of sound is influenced by cues from other senses, explaining more precisely how we interpret what we hear at a particular moment, according to a report published online October 31 in Nature Neuroscience.

In the new study in mice, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found that nerve cells dedicated to hearing also rely on surrounding context to properly interpret and react to familiar sounds.

“What the brain ‘hears’ depends on what is ‘seen’ in addition to specific sounds, as the brain calculates how to respond,” says study senior investigator and neuroscientist Robert Froemke, PhD, an assistant professor at NYU Langone and its Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine.

Froemke says his team’s latest findings reveal that while mammals recognize sounds in the auditory cortex of their brains, the signaling levels of nerve cells in this brain region are simultaneously being strengthened or weakened in response to surrounding context.

“Our study shows how the same sound can mean different things inside the brain depending on the situation,” says Froemke. “We know, for instance, that people learn to respond without alarm to the honk of a car horn if heard from the safety of their homes, but are startled to hear the same honk while crossing a busy street.”

If further experiments find similar activity in human brains, the researchers say their work may lead to precise explanations of situation-specific behaviors, such as anxiety brought on during math exams; sudden post-traumatic stress among combat veterans hearing a car backfire; and the ability of people with dementia to better remember certain events when they hear a familiar voice or see a friend’s face.

To map how the same sense can be perceived differently in the brain, the NYU Langone team, led by postdoctoral fellow Kishore Kuchibhotla, PhD, monitored nerve circuit activity in mice when the animals expected, and did not expect, to get a water reward through a straw-like tube (that they see) after the ringing of a familiar musical note.

When mice were exposed to specific auditory cues, researchers observed patterns based on a basic divide in the nature of nerve cells. Each nerve cell “decides” whether a message travels onward in a nerve pathway. Nerve cells that emit chemicals which tell the next cell in line to amplify a message are excitatory; those that stop messages are inhibitory. Combinations of the two strike a counterbalance critical to the function of the nervous system, with inhibitory cells sculpting “noise” from excitatory cells into the arrangements behind thought and memory.

Furthermore, the processing of incoming sensory information is achieved in part by adjusting signaling levels through each type of nerve cell. Theories hold that the brain may attach more importance to a given signal by turning up or down excitatory signals, or by doing the same with inhibitory nerve cells.

In the current study, researchers found to their surprise that most of the nerve cells in auditory cortex neurons that stimulate brain activity (excitatory) had signaled less (had “weaker” activity) when the mice expected and got a reward. Meanwhile, and to the contrary, a second set of remaining “excitatory” neurons saw greater signaling activity when mice expected a reward based on exposure to the two sensory cues and got one.

Further tests showed that the activation of specific inhibitory neurons—parvalbumin, somatostatin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide—was responsible for these changes and was in turn controlled by the chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Chemically shutting down acetylcholine activity cut in half the number of times mice successfully went after their water reward when prompted by a ring tone. Some studies in humans have linked acetylcholine depletion to higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease.

Froemke, who is also a faculty scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, says the team next plans to assess how the hormones noradrenaline and dopamine affect auditory cortex neurons under different situations.

“If we can sort out the many interactions between these chemicals and brain activity based on sensory perception and context, then we can possibly target specific excitatory and inhibitory neurological pathways to rebalance and influence behaviors,” says Froemke.

Mistrust

The other day I explained on Facebook that in Deaf culture, name signs are give to people once someone is accepted into the Deaf community either as a member or as an associate.

A friend (hearing) asked me why Deaf people were so distrustful of Hearing people and why we were “so prejudiced”.

I’m not sure how “name signs are earned” implied “Deaf people are prejudiced” but I did tell him that since hearing society is an oppressive force on Deaf society, some Deaf people do feel some distrust toward hearing people.

He’s like, “I don’t get it, that’s prejudiced”.

Oh, you know…

“Deaf people shouldn’t be allowed to sign; signing will inhibit their ability to speak and listen.”

“Your TV captions are distracting to me.”

“Stop captioning videos online, you’re giving away the punchline.”

“Wheelchair access is more important than hiring an interpreter.”

“NEVERMIND.”

*talks about a Deaf person verbally right in front of them without letting them know*

“Hey I know sign language!” *flips the bird or signs bullfart*

“Deaf people shouldn’t be allowed to drive”

“I don’t want to hire you, you can’t communicate.’

*physically punishes Deaf people for using sign*

“Why don’t you just get a cochlear implant?”

“If you want an interpreter at your medical appointment, you can bring your own”

“Can’t you just get notes on what I said from a classmate, all semester? Your interpreter is distracting.”

*feels good about themselves because they gave one whole thumbs-up to the deafie the entire time they were there*

“You’re pretty for someone who is Deaf”

“I SAID, I think you need to change your hearing aid batteries!”

See/Hear...get it?

Think about people who cannot see very well. We all know someone who wears glasses. We all know someone with terrible vision. Maybe you ARE that someone. Have you ever tried on a pair of glasses that belongs to someone else and thought to yourself, “Whoa, how the hell do you see?” You know how your vision becomes blurry? As if everything has gone down in quality? Like, you can still note shapes and colors but that’s it. You have no clear depiction of the room you’re in. Space even becomes distorted.

That’s what being Hard of Hearing is like for a lot of people.

We know the sound is there, and we can recognize bits and pieces, but everything just comes to us muffled or unclear. Turning up the volume or speaking louder doesn’t always help. Your brain/ears has to be able to sort through and process the audial information. You wouldn’t turn on more lights to help someone with not so great vision, would you? It’s not always a brightness thing for them, it’s how their eyes work.

If you can grasp that then you can grasp what it’s like to hear differently. Some people wear glasses or contacts. Some people wear hearing aids. It’s not the same for everyone.

So stop operating under the assumption that hearing has a defined spectrum or a strict “can/can’t” dynamic. It doesn’t exist.

I’m partially deaf and watch everything with subtitles and I have a friend who used to always complain about the them but after high school she moved to another state and over a phone call admitted that she liked to watch things with subtitles now because it reminded her of me and that was one of the most touching things anyone has every said to me. 

a-nordic-saxophonist  asked:

So I was just diagnosed with a hearing problem (it had a long scientific word I can't remember) but this on top of auditory processing issues is honestly the worst this in the world. Like half of my spoken vocabulary is "what, sorry, I couldn't quite hear you"

I feel you. Is there anything you can do to help with your hearing, like a hearing aid or something?

It could help to start learning sign language so you can communicate more easily. Also, start looking for other people who have this hearing thing so that you can learn how they cope with it and get tips and stuff.

-J