Effects of Sound-Induced Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids on the Perception of Music
Moore, Brian C. J.
Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
Audio Engineering Society
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Moore, B. C. J. (2016). Effects of Sound-Induced Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids on the Perception of Music. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 64 (3), 112-123. https://doi.org/10.17743/jaes.2015.0081
This is the final version of the article. It first appeared from the Audio Engineering Society via https://doi.org/10.17743/jaes.2015.0081
Exposure to high-level music produces several physiological changes in the auditory system that lead to a variety of perceptual effects. Damage to the outer hair cells within the cochlea leads to a loss of sensitivity to weak sounds, loudness recruitment (a more rapid than normal growth of loudness with increasing sound level) and reduced frequency selectivity. Damage to inner hair cells and/or synapses leads to degeneration of neurons in the auditory nerve and to a reduced flow of information to the brain. This leads to poorer auditory discrimination and may contribute to reduced sensitivity to the temporal fine structure of sounds and to poor pitch perception. Hearing aids compensate for the effects of threshold elevation and loudness recruitment via multi-channel amplitude compression, but they do not compensate for reduced frequency selectivity or loss of inner hair cells/synapses/neurons. Multi-channel compression can impair some aspects of the perception of music, such as the ability to hear out one instrument or voice from a mixture. The limited frequency range and irregular frequency response of most hearing aids is associated with poor sound quality for music. Finally, systems for reducing acoustic feedback can have undesirable side effects when listening to music.
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (UK, grant number G0701870), Action on Hearing Loss, Phonak, and Starkey.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.17743/jaes.2015.0081
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254638
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/