Turning Chaos Into Conversation: How Hearing Really Works
New research brings us one step closer to understanding exactly how our brains pick up subtle parts of speech and arrange them into useful thoughts.
How Sound Reaches Your Brain
Sound enters the ear canal, causing the eardrum to vibrate.
A series of tiny bones passes the vibrations to the inner ear.
Hair cells within the inner ear convert the vibrations into electrical signals.
Finally, the auditory nerve carries these electrical signals to the brain.
Hearing — and understanding — the world around you involves far more than simply catching sounds with your ears.
Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin were able to pinpoint the regions of the brain responsible for processing each individual sound that makes up human speech. They did this by using electrodes placed on a person’s scalp — a noninvasive procedure known as electroencephalography.
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.
By identifying the regions of the brain responsible for processing each of these phonemes, the researchers proved two important points:
- Electroencephalography should prove very useful in future attempts to understand how the brain processes speech, a phenomenon that remains largely a mystery.
- The researchers have unwittingly demonstrated the importance of consistently visiting a hearing care provider.
It’s all about the conversation, not the consultation.
Our hearing care professionals are specially trained in understanding the entirety of the ear-to-brain connection and the effects hearing loss can have in the long run on not just your hearing but your life. We can work with you to help identify where you would like to hear better to improve your life. Our providers 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 hearing care provider is a recipe for success.
Our 4-Step Process
- Interview You answer questions about your health history and lifestyle.
- Examination We ensure your ears are healthy.
- Diagnostics We identify if and where Sound Voids® are occurring.
- Solutions We find the right hearing solution for your unique needs.
Regular hearing exams are key to maintaining your hearing. Our technology, custom treatment plan, and hearing care team work together to help you hear your best.