By Steve Tobias
Most people think hearing is in the ears. What people don’t realize is that hearing really occurs in the brain. The brain must evaluate all incoming signals from the ears and quickly calculate four main tasks.
Let’s call the first task “Orientation.” Here the brain must calculate where the sound is located and how far away. The second is “Recognition.” We must have heard the sound before in order to recognize it and make sense of it. The third is “Focus.” The brain uses both ears to focus on what’s important, especially in noisy environments. The fourth task is “Separate.” The brain separates relevant sounds from competing noise.
How can technology help? Some advanced hearing aids can actually preserve the important details in speech and work as a system to help locate a sound’s origin. There are now ways to work with the four tasks in order to take advantage of the science of hearing.
These are not your father’s old hearing aids. This technology and research was released within the past year, designed for people that place a high value on hearing in complex environments and groups. There is help, so live life to the fullest.