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Musical Training Can Overcome Hearing Loss

Posted Mar 19 2012 9:00am

Eline de Ruite, Getty Images
A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging shows that lifelong musical training — particularly when continued late in life — can help overcome age-related hearing loss.

Researchers at Northwestern University's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory measured how the brains of young musicians, older musicians and non-musicians responded to auditory stimuli. They found that older musicians had a distinct neural advantage over young musicians and non-musicians.

Independent researchers say that these findings, in conjunction with earlier animal studies, support the idea that the brain can be trained to overcome, in part, some age-related hearing loss.
The results suggest that “intensive training even late in life could improve speech processing in older adults and, as a result, improve their ability to communicate in complex, noisy acoustic environments,” Don Caspary, Ph.D., a researcher in the field of age-related hearing loss at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine said.

Source: McKnights
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