May 21, 2018—Clarke's Listening Walk at the Philadelphia Zoo on May 20 was an exciting day for all! It began with a 5K run, followed by a listening scavenger hunt where children with hearing loss heard their favorite "zoo-tastic" sounds—the Phillie Phanatic, the official mascot...[More]
May 16, 2018—Clarke Mainstream Services is thrilled to announce its keynote lineup for the 39th Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss, which will be held on October 18 and 19, 2018. This annual conference is often praised for its outstanding content, which...[More]
May 11, 2018—Are you registered for a Clarke Listening Walk? Thanks to your overwhelming support, Clarke's Listening Walk at the Bronx Zoo reached maximum capacity this week. [More]
May 3, 2018—Congratulations to Sarah Verteramo, Audiology Assistant at Clarke, for acceptance in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Doctor of Audiology program! [More]
December 20, 2017—Five percent of school-age children have an auditory deficit affecting how verbal information is interpreted. This condition, whose symptoms are often confused with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Those with CAPD have trouble with sound localization, specifically in their ability to isolate a sound source in social environments. They also have difficulty decoding the meaning of language, even though they do not necessarily have a hearing loss. CAPD occurs when the part of the brain that translates what the ear delivers does not function properly.
Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), the largest nonprofit funder of hearing and balance research in the U.S. and a Clarke partner and supporter, funds research to increase our understanding of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of CAPD through our Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program, which seeks to advance knowledge of under-researched hearing disorders. Three past ERG recipients—Elizabeth McCullagh, Ph.D., Andrew Dimitrijevic, Ph.D., and Yoojin Chung, Ph.D.—stand out for their recent critical findings related to the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of CAPD.
Research by ERG recipient Elizabeth McCullagh, PhD of the University of Colorado focused on a possible role of the neurotransmitter glycine in sound localization issues in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) mice, the first study of this kind. FXS is the most common genetic form of autism and is characterized by impaired cognition, hyperactivity, seizures, attention deficits, and hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, specifically auditory stimuli. More research will help give insight into a possible medical intervention for those with CAPD caused by FXS.
Andrew Dimitrijevic, PhD and colleagues at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital study listening and understanding. People listen and understand by decoding the sound message and remembering what was said—a process known as working memory—through brain waves called the alpha rhythm. The alpha rhythm can be non-invasively recorded by placing electrical sensors on the head. Dr. Dimitrijevic and colleagues found that the alpha rhythm disappeared when people “tuned out” and the alpha rhythm was very pronounced when people were engaged in listening. Different brain regions lit up when listeners were engaged and the pattern of activity predicted when a mistake (or mis-hearing) occurred. The authors will soon present their data using the same methods in typically developing children and children with CAPD.
Yoojin Chung, PhD and researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School investigated why bilateral cochlear implants (CI) recipients, especially children with congenital deafness, face challenges in everyday acoustic environments. These children have difficulty making full use of the subtle arrival differences in the sounds reaching the two ears (interaural time difference, [ITD]) to identify where the sounds are coming from. Using an animal model, Dr. Chung and colleagues studied how neurons in the brain that receive inputs from the ears process ITD with bilateral CI stimulation. Their findings will support the development of new sound processors and rehabilitation strategies for bilateral CI recipients with CAPD.
For more information about HHF’s groundbreaking hearing research, visit hhf.org/research.
By Lauren McGrath, Marketing Manager, Hearing Health Foundation