How Hearing Really Works

New research is helping us to understand exactly how our brains pick up speech and turn it into useful thoughts.

Hearing and understanding the world around you isn’t entirely your ears’ job, according to the results of a study conducted at Trinity College in Dublin. Using electrodes placed on a person’s scalp — a noninvasive procedure known as electroencephalography —researchers pinpointed the parts of the brain responsible for processing each individual sound involved in speech.

The study highlighted two important points:

  • Electroencephalography should prove very useful in future attempts to understand how the brain processes speech, something that is currently a mystery.
  • Consistently visiting your hearing care provider is of the utmost importance.

Known as phonemes, these syllables, breaks, and intonations are meaningless on their own, yet amazingly, the brain is able to arrange them into patterns it recognizes as speech, even in noisy environments with other competing conversations occurring simultaneously. What enters our ears as a flood of sound is automatically processed and sorted into consonants, vowels, pauses, and pitches — or, to us, language.

It’s all about the conversation, not the consultation.

Our hearing care professionals are specially trained to understand the entirety of the ear-to-brain connection and the long-term effects hearing loss can have on your hearing and your life. We work with you to identify your hearing lifestyle so we can improve your life. We focus on customized treatment through education, transparency, and cutting-edge technology. Over two-thirds of hearing aids are improperly fit, which causes frustration, poor results, and even increased risks. Getting that proper examination, diagnosis, fitting, programming, and counseling from a skilled hearing care provider is a recipe for success.

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