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Effects of Aging and Adult-Onset Hearing Loss on Cortical Auditory Regions
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. UCL, Dept Expt Psychol, Deafness Cognit & Language Res Ctr, London, England. (Linnaeus Ctr HEAD)
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-4548, E-ISSN 1662-453X, Vol. 10, no 199Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Hearing loss is a common feature in human aging. It has been argued that dysfunctions in central processing are important contributing factors to hearing loss during older age. Aging also has well documented consequences for neural structure and function, but it is not clear how these effects interact with those that arise as a consequence of hearing loss. This paper reviews the effects of aging and adult-onset hearing loss in the structure and function of cortical auditory regions. The evidence reviewed suggests that aging and hearing loss result in atrophy of cortical auditory regions and stronger engagement of networks involved in the detection of salient events, adaptive control and re-allocation of attention. These cortical mechanisms are engaged during listening in effortful conditions in normal hearing individuals. Therefore, as a consequence of aging and hearing loss, all listening becomes effortful and cognitive load is constantly high, reducing the amount of available cognitive resources. This constant effortful listening and reduced cognitive spare capacity could be what accelerates cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2016. Vol. 10, no 199
Keyword [en]
hearing loss; aging (aging); aging and cognitive function; cognitive decline; Auditory cortex; humans
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128723DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00199ISI: 000375549500001PubMedID: 27242405OAI: diva2:932355

Funding Agencies|Linnaeus Centre HEAD, The Swedish Research Council [2007-8654]; Action on Hearing Loss [598]; Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain [RES-620-28-0002]

Available from: 2016-06-01 Created: 2016-05-30 Last updated: 2016-06-22

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