Hearing loss affects around 5% of the population with an increased likelihood of developing depression, social isolation and dementia. Due to research between hearing loss and dementia, there must be a relationship between hearing loss and the brain. This idea has been found in people who have normal audiogram results but difficulty understanding speech in noise. This is a main concern for those with hearing loss and may be caused due to temporal processing. Traditional tests and interventions such as hearing test/aids do not include temporal processing. Speech in noise is a complicated process and requires high levels of cognition. Recent research has shown that auditory cognitive training can be used to help with brain plasticity and cognitive processing.
Therefore, the project focuses on the impact of auditory-cognitive training on hearing performance and cortical processing of sound. By using behavioural and neuroimaging techniques, we can explore the development of an individuals’ brain structures, pathways and behaviour from the auditory training programme on those with sensorineural hearing loss.