Psychology

Psychology

Cochlear Implants and Cognitive Function?

Mosnier et al (2015) and colleagues evaluated the relationship between cognitive function and hearing restoration through cochlear implants (CIs) in elderly patients. The study was performed between 2006 and 2009 and included 94 patients between 65 and 85 years of age. Each participant was evaluated pre-op, and 6 and 12 months post-op. Six tests were used to assess cognitive function including the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), the 5-Word Test, the Clock-Drawing Test, Verbal Fluency Test, the D2 Test of Attention and Trail Making Tests (parts A and B).

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Auditory Hallucinations

Woods et al (2015) report on the “largest mixed-methods investigation of auditory phenomenology” with regard to auditory hallucinations (or voices) in the literature. The authors report that “auditory hallucinations or voices are a common feature of schizophrenia” and these same hallucinations may be present in people (with and) without psychiatric disorders.

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Acoustic Neuroma Patient Needs and Concerns

Leong and Lesser (2015) reported that 880 members of the British Acoustic Neuroma Association were e-mailed a survey of which 480 were returned from people who had been diagnosed and treated for acoustic neuroma, and 465 had complete data, used for analysis. Acoustic neuroma treatment ranged from surgical excision for 47 percent of the respondents, stereotactic radiosurgery was the treatment for 25 percent, some 23 percent  had serial MRIs, and the remaining 5 percent had surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery. 

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Accuracy of Subjective Reports of Hearing

Kamil, Genther, and Lin (2015) examined the relationship between objective and subjective reports of hearing loss. Specifically, they examined 3,557 reports from people enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (from two cycles: 1999–2006 and 2009–2010). All participants were 50 years of age or older, and each had completed a subjective hearing assessment and had completed an audiometric evaluation.

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Absolute Perfect Pitch

When someone has absolute pitch (AP, also called “perfect pitch”), it means they can produce a specific pitch without a reference  note. That is, they might hum or whistle a note, such as a perfect 440 Hz tone, referred to as “A,” or perhaps a 256 Hz tone, commonly referred to as “C.”  Beck (2008) reports that “musical notes are absolute, well-defined pitches.” Musicians tune their instruments to the same “concert” pitch.

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Hippocampus and Brain Training

Stetka and De Brigard (2015) report that although the hippocampus is of critical importance with regard to our capacity to remember, the hippocampus may not be necessary for retrieving previously stored information. That is, the hippocampus appears to be required for coding and storing memory. The authors state that, “to say that the hippocampus is the memory center is, at best, incomplete and, at worst, misleading.” 


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Single-Sided Deafness and Cochlear Implants

Van Zon et al (2015) report a systematic review of the professional literature to determine the likely outcome for people with single-sided deafness (SSD, or asymmetric hearing loss, AHL) who undergo cochlear implantation in the worse ear. The authors note that the most common clinical solutions for people with SSD or AHL includes contralateral routing of signal (CROS) or bone-conduction (BC) devices.

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Invisible Hearing Loss

Opinion Editorial by Douglas L. Beck, AuD


A relatively new term in audiology is invisible hearing loss. Of course, it's not new or surprising to hearing care professionals (HCPs) that hearing loss is "invisible." That is, the person with hearing loss looks exactly like the person without hearing loss (unlike a person with a broken arm or leg, or a person in need of a wheel chair, or a person wearing glasses….).


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Which Patients Benefit from Tinnitus Treatment?

Theodoroff et al (2014) report that little is known regarding which patient factors influence tinnitus treatment outcomes. The authors used a retrospective analysis of 89 veterans, for whom they had baseline and repeated measures (12 months later) on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). The THI’s 25 questions determine the patient’s self-perceived handicap from 0 (no handicap) to 100 (total handicap). The THI has been validated and has demonstrated high test-retest reliability.

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How Young to Test APD?

Lucker (2015) reports that nothing in the guidelines from the national associations state that children under age seven cannot be assessed for auditory processing.

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