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  Hearing loss impacts neural alpha oscillations under adverse listening conditions

Petersen, E. B., Wöstmann, M., Obleser, J., Stenfelt, S., & Lunner, T. (2015). Hearing loss impacts neural alpha oscillations under adverse listening conditions. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 177. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00177.

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 Creators:
Petersen, Eline B.1, 2, 3, Author
Wöstmann, Malte4, 5, Author              
Obleser, Jonas5, Author              
Stenfelt, Stefan2, 3, Author
Lunner, Thomas1, 3, Author
Affiliations:
1Eriksholm Research Centre, Snekkersten, Denmark, ou_persistent22              
2Technical Audiology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden, ou_persistent22              
3Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Sweden, ou_persistent22              
4International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_751545              

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Free keywords: Alpha oscillations; Hearing loss; Hearing aid; Cognition; Working memory
 Abstract: Degradations in external, acoustic stimulation have long been suspected to increase the load on working memory (WM). One neural signature of WM load is enhanced power of alpha oscillations (6–12 Hz). However, it is unknown to what extent common internal, auditory degradation, that is, hearing impairment, affects the neural mechanisms of WM when audibility has been ensured via amplification. Using an adapted auditory Sternberg paradigm, we varied the orthogonal factors memory load and background noise level, while the electroencephalogram was recorded. In each trial, participants were presented with 2, 4, or 6 spoken digits embedded in one of three different levels of background noise. After a stimulus-free delay interval, participants indicated whether a probe digit had appeared in the sequence of digits. Participants were healthy older adults (62–86 years), with normal to moderately impaired hearing. Importantly, the background noise levels were individually adjusted and participants were wearing hearing aids to equalize audibility across participants. Irrespective of hearing loss (HL), behavioral performance improved with lower memory load and also with lower levels of background noise. Interestingly, the alpha power in the stimulus-free delay interval was dependent on the interplay between task demands (memory load and noise level) and HL; while alpha power increased with HL during low and intermediate levels of memory load and background noise, it dropped for participants with the relatively most severe HL under the highest memory load and background noise level. These findings suggest that adaptive neural mechanisms for coping with adverse listening conditions break down for higher degrees of HL, even when adequate hearing aid amplification is in place.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-10-022015-02-042015-02-19
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00177
PMID: 25745410
PMC: PMC4333793
Other: eCollection 2015
 Degree: -

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Title: Frontiers in Psychology
  Abbreviation : Front Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 6 Sequence Number: 177 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-1078
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664-1078