The auditory cortex is the region of the brain that is responsible for processing of auditory (sound) information. The primary auditory cortex is located in the temporal lobe. There are additional areas of the human cerebral cortex that are involved in processing sound, in the frontal and parietal lobes.
When we are busy with something that requires the use of sight, the brain reduces hearing to make it easy for us.
Four-year-old William Wootton was born profoundly deaf, but thanks to cochlear implants fitted when he was about 18 months old, the Granite Bay preschooler plays with a keyboard synthesizer and reacts to the sounds of airplanes and trains, while still learning American Sign Language.
Music instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young children, particularly in the areas of the brain that are responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception and reading skills, according to initial results of a five-year study by USC neuroscientists.
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University have made an important discovery about the human auditory system and how to study it, findings that could lead to better testing and diagnosis of hearing-related disorders.
The specialized human ability to perceive the sound quality known as 'pitch' can no longer be listed as unique to humans. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report new behavioral evidence that marmosets, ancient monkeys, appear to use auditory cues similar to humans to distinguish between low and high notes.
Brain scans from nearly 200 adolescent boys provide evidence that the brains of compulsive video game players are wired differently. Chronic video game play is associated with hyperconnectivity between several pairs of brain networks.
Being able to understand speech is essential to our evolution as humans. Hearing lets us perceive the same word even when spoken at different speeds or pitches, and also gives us extra sensitivity to unexpected sounds. Now, new studies from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania clarify how these two crucial features of audition are managed by the brain.
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found how even brief exposure to sudden sounds or mild trauma can form permanent, long-term brain connections, or memories, in a specific region of the brain. Moreover, the research team, working with rats, says it was able to chemically stimulate those biological pathways in the locus coeruleus -- the area of the brain best known for releasing the "fight or flight" hormone noradrenaline -- to heighten and improve the animals' hearing.
In the largest U.S. clinical trial of its kind funded by the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, researchers at the VA Portland Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University found that transcranial magnetic stimulation significantly improved tinnitus symptoms for more than half of study participants.
Are wind farms harmful to humans? Some believe so, others refute this; this controversial topic makes emotions run high. To give the debate more objectivity, an international team of experts dealt with the fundamentals of hearing in the lower limit range of the audible frequency range (i.e. infrasound), but also in the upper limit range (i.e. ultrasound).
For neuroscientists studying the intricate mechanisms of hearing in the brain's auditory cortex, a major question has been how a listener can focus in a noisy environment, and how neurochemicals help neurons convey as much embedded information as possible for the rest of the brain to act on.
When people hear the sound of footsteps or the drilling of a woodpecker, the rhythmic structure of the sounds is striking, says Michael Wehr, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.
Lights, sound, action: we are constantly learning how to incorporate outside sensations into our reactions in specific situations. In a new study, brain scientists have mapped changes in communication between nerve cells as rats learned to make specific decisions in response to particular sounds. The team then used this map to accurately predict the rats' reactions. These results add to our understanding of how the brain processes sensations and forms memories to inform behavior.
Gene expression within neurons is critical for the formation of memories, but it's difficult to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning. Now researchers have successfully monitored the expression of genes in neurons after rats were exposed to auditory fear conditioning, in which a neutral auditory tone is paired with electric shock.
People who have "absolute pitch" can identify notes immediately without relying on a reference tone. Intensive research is being conducted into the neuronal basis of this extraordinary ability at the University of Zurich's Department of Neuropsychology. The researchers have now detected a close functional link between the auditory cortex in the brain and the frontal lobe in these extraordinary people - a discovery that is not only important in theory, but also in practice.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder in humans that causes social impairments and repetitive behaviors, and other behaviors on the autistic spectrum, as well as cognitive deficits.
A University of Maryland-led research team has been awarded a three-year $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new imaging technologies and data analysis techniques that will further our understanding of how large networks of neurons in the brain interact to process sensory information.
When we want to listen carefully to someone, the first thing we do is stop talking. The second thing we do is stop moving altogether. This strategy helps us hear better by preventing unwanted sounds generated by our own movements.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas.
New studies being launched by neurobiologist Luke Remage-Healey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will investigate how estrogens produced in the brains of young birds enhance their ability to learn songs during a critical window during development.