Hearing research

Publisher: Elsevier

Description

  • Impact factor
    2.18
  • 5-year impact
    2.06
  • Cited half-life
    9.90
  • Immediacy index
    0.34
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.75
  • ISSN
    1878-5891

Publisher details

Elsevier

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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months
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    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate horizontal plane localization and interaural time difference (ITD) thresholds for 14 adult cochlear implant recipients with hearing preservation in the implanted ear. Localization to broadband noise was assessed in an anechoic chamber with a 33-loudspeaker array extending from -90 to +90 degrees. Three listening conditions were tested including bilateral hearing aids, bimodal (implant + contralateral hearing aid) and best aided (implant + bilateral hearing aids). ITD thresholds were assessed, under headphones, for low-frequency stimuli including a 250-Hz tone and bandpass noise (100 to 900 Hz). Localization, in overall rms error, was significantly poorer in the bimodal condition (mean: 60.2 degrees) as compared to both bilateral hearing aids (mean: 46.1 degrees) and the best-aided condition (mean: 43.4 degrees). ITD thresholds were assessed for the same 14 adult implant recipients as well as 5 normal-hearing adults. ITD thresholds were highly variable across the implant recipients ranging from the range of normal to ITDs not present in real-world listening environments (range: 43 to over 1600 microseconds). ITD thresholds were significantly correlated with localization, the degree of interaural asymmetry in low-frequency hearing, and the degree of hearing preservation related benefit in the speech reception threshold (SRT). These data suggest that implant recipients with hearing preservation in the implanted ear have access to binaural cues and that the sensitivity to ITDs is significantly correlated with localization and degree of preserved hearing in the implanted ear.
    Hearing research 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have reported an increased incidence of auditory dysfunction among HIV/AIDS patients. We used auditory HEI-OC1 cells in cell viability, flow cytometry and caspases 3/7-activation studies to investigate the potential ototoxicity of fourteen HIV antiretroviral agents: Abacavir, AZT, Delavirdine, Didenosine, Efavirenz, Emtricitabine, Indinavir, Lamivudine, Nefinavir, Nevirapine, Tenofovir, Ritonavir, Stavudine and Zalcitabine, as well as combinations of these agents as used in the common anti-HIV cocktails Atripla™, Combivir™, Epzicom™, Trizivir™, and Truvada™. Our results suggested that most of the single assayed anti-HIV drugs are toxic for HEI-OC1 auditory cells. The cocktails, on the other hand, decreased auditory cells' viability with high significance, with the following severity gradient: Epzicom ∼ Trizivir > Atripla ∼ Combivir > Truvada. Interestingly, our results suggest that Trizivir- and Epzicom-induced cell death would be mediated by a caspase-independent mechanism. L-Carnitine, a natural micronutrient known to protect HEI-OC1 cells against some ototoxic drugs as well as to decrease neuropathies associated with anti-HIV treatments, increased viability of cells treated with Lamivudine and Tenofovir as well as with the cocktail Atripla, but had only minor effects on cells treated with other drugs and drug combinations. Altogether, these results suggest that some frequently used anti-HIV agents could have deleterious effects on patients hearing, and provide arguments in favor of additional studies aimed at elucidating the potential ototoxicity of current as well as future anti-HIV drugs.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of different stapes prostheses on the basilar membrane (BM) motion was determined. To that end, a three dimensional finite-element (FE) model of the passive human cochlea was developed. Passive responses of the BM were found based on coupled fluid-structure interactions between the cochlear solid structures and the scala fluids. The passive BM vibrations in normal (healthy) cochlea were compared with vibrations in the cochlea in which a 0.4-mm piston or a proposed new type of prosthesis was implanted. The proposed chamber prosthesis was not experimentally implanted, but only numerically simulated. Design of the new chamber stapes prosthesis is presented for the first time in this paper. The simulation results showed 10-20 dB decrease in BM displacement amplitude in the case of the piston. In contrast, the BM responses in the cochlea with the new prosthesis are higher with respect to the healthy ear. The results obtained in this study are promising for further research to optimize the design of the new chamber stapes prosthesis.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanosensory hair cells in the chicken inner ear are innervated by bipolar afferent neurons of the statoacoustic ganglion (SAG). During development, individual SAG neurons project their peripheral process to only one of eight distinct sensory organs. These neuronal subtypes may respond differently to guidance cues as they explore the periphery in search of their target. Previous gene expression data suggested that Slit repellants might channel SAG neurites into the sensory primordia, based on the presence of robo transcripts in the neurons and the confinement of slit transcripts to the flanks of the prosensory domains. This led to the prediction that excess Slit proteins would impede the outgrowth of SAG neurites. As predicted, axonal projections to the primordium of the anterior crista were reduced 2-3 days after electroporation of either slit1 or slit2 expression plasmids into the anterior pole of the otocyst on embryonic day 3 (E3). The posterior crista afferents, which normally grow through and adjacent to slit expression domains as they are navigating towards the posterior pole of the otocyst, did not show Slit responsiveness when similarly challenged by ectopic delivery of slit to their targets. The sensitivity to ectopic Slits shown by the anterior crista afferents was more the exception than the rule: responsiveness to Slits was not observed when the entire E4 SAG was challenged with Slits for 40 hours in vitro. The corona of neurites emanating from SAG explants was unaffected by the presence of purified human Slit1 and Slit2 in the culture medium. Reduced axon outgrowth from E8 olfactory bulbs cultured under similar conditions for 24 hours confirmed bioactivity of purified human Slits on chicken neurons. In summary, differential sensitivity to Slit repellents may influence the directional outgrowth of otic axons toward either the anterior or posterior otocyst.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Auditory brain function is shaped by a combination of genetic factors and one's auditory experiences. Genetic factors set the gross architecture of the system, whereas experiences fine-tune that architecture and its functionality throughout life. In this review article, we focus on recent discoveries of experiential influences on brainstem function. Using these studies as scaffolding, we then lay the initial groundwork for the Layering Hypothesis, a new hypothesis of experience-dependent plasticity that explicates how experiences combine to shape subcortical auditory function. Our hypothesis is built on the idea that the subcortical auditory system reflects the collective auditory experiences of an individual, including interactions with sound that occurred in the distant past. Our goal for this article is to begin to shift the field away from looking at the effect of single experiences to examining how different auditory experiences layer or superimpose on each other.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Transmembrane channel-like (TMC) proteins 1 and 2 are necessary for hair cell mechanotransduction but their precise function is controversial. A growing body of evidence supports a direct role for TMC1 and TMC2 as components of the transduction complex. However, a number of important questions remain and alternate hypotheses have been proposed. Here we present an historical overview of the identification and cloning of Tmc genes, a discussion of mutations in TMC1 that cause deafness in mice and humans and a brief review of other members of the Tmc gene superfamily. We also examine expression of Tmc mRNAs and localization of the protein products. The review focuses on potential functions of TMC proteins and the evidence from Beethoven mice that suggests a direct role for TMC1 in hair cell mechanotransduction. Data that support alternate interpretations are also considered. The article concludes with a discussion of outstanding questions and future directions for TMC research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Annual Reviews 2014".
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently we reported that middle ear pressure (MEP), middle ear effusion (MEE), and ossicular changes each contribute to the loss of tympanic membrane (TM) mobility in a guinea pig model of acute otitis media (AOM) induced by S. pneumoniae (Guan and Gan, 2013). However, it is not clear how those factors vary along the course of the disease and whether those effects are reproducible in different species. In this study, a chinchilla AOM model was produced by transbullar injection of Haemophilus influenzae. Mobility of the TM at the umbo was measured by laser vibrometry in two treatment groups: 4 days (4D) and 8 days (8D) post inoculation. These time points represent relatively early and later phases of AOM. In each group, the vibration of the umbo was measured at three experimental stages: unopened, pressure-released, and effusion-removed ears. The effects of MEP and MEE and middle ear structural changes were quantified in each group by comparing the TM mobility at one stage with that of the previous stage. Our findings show that the factors affecting TM mobility do change with the disease time course. The MEP was the dominant contributor to reduction of TM mobility in 4D AOM ears, but showed little effect in 8D ears when MEE filled the tympanic cavity. MEE was the primary factor affecting TM mobility loss in 8D ears, but affected the 4D ears only at high frequencies. After the release of MEP and removal of MEE, residual loss of TM mobility was seen mainly at low frequencies in both 4D and 8D ears, and was associated with middle ear structural changes. Our findings establish that the factors contributing to TM mobility loss in the chinchilla ear were similar to those we reported previously for the guinea pig ears with AOM. Outcomes did not appear to differ between the two major bacterial species causing AOM in these animal models.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The highly variable benefit of hearing devices is a serious challenge in auditory rehabilitation. Various factors contribute to this phenomenon such as the diversity in ear defects, the different extent of auditory nerve hypoplasia, the age of intervention, and cognitive abilities. Recent analyses indicate that, in addition, central auditory functions of deafness genes have to be considered in this context. Since reduced neuronal activity acts as the common denominator in deafness, it is widely assumed that peripheral deafness influences development and function of the central auditory system in a stereotypical manner. However, functional characterization of transgenic mice with mutated deafness genes demonstrated gene-specific abnormalities in the central auditory system as well. A frequent function of deafness genes in the central auditory system is supported by a genome-wide expression study that revealed significant enrichment of these genes in the transcriptome of the auditory brainstem compared to the entire brain. Here, we will summarize current knowledge of the diverse central auditory functions of deafness genes. We furthermore propose the intimately interwoven gene regulatory networks governing development of the otic placode and the hindbrain as a mechanistic explanation for the widespread expression of these genes beyond the cochlea. We conclude that better knowledge of central auditory dysfunction caused by genetic alterations in deafness genes is required. In combination with improved genetic diagnostics becoming currently available through novel sequencing technologies, this information will likely contribute to better outcome prediction of hearing devices.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive noise exposure is known to produce an auditory threshold shift, which can be permanent or transient in nature. Recent studies showed that noise-induced temporary threshold shifts are associated with loss of synaptic connections to the inner hair cells and with cochlear nerve degeneration, which is reflected in a decreased amplitude of wave I of the auditory brainstem response (ABR). This suggests that, despite normal auditory thresholds, central auditory processing may be abnormal. We recorded changes in central auditory processing following a sound-induced temporary threshold shift. Anesthetized guinea pigs were exposed for one hour to a pure tone of 11 kHz (124 dB sound pressure level). Hearing thresholds, amplitudes of ABR waves I and IV, and spontaneous and tone-evoked firing rates in the inferior colliculus (IC) were assessed immediately, one week, two weeks, and four weeks post exposure. Hearing thresholds were elevated immediately following overexposure, but recovered within one week. The amplitude of the ABR wave I was decreased in all sound-exposed animals for all test periods. In contrast, the ABR wave IV amplitude was only decreased immediately after overexposure and recovered within a week. The proportion of IC units that show inhibitory responses to pure tones decreased substantially up to two weeks after overexposure, especially when stimulated with high frequencies. The proportion of excitatory responses to low frequencies was increased. Spontaneous activity was unaffected by the overexposure. Despite rapid normalization of auditory thresholds, our results suggest an increased central gain following sound exposure and an abnormal balance between excitatory and inhibitory responses in the midbrain up to two weeks after overexposure. These findings may be associated with hyperacusis after a sound-induced temporary threshold shift.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A new anatomically-accurate Finite Element (FE) model of the tympanic membrane (TM) and malleus was combined with measurements of the sound-induced motion of the TM surface and the bony manubrium, in an isolated TM–malleus preparation. Using the results, we were able to address two issues related to how sound is coupled to the ossicular chain: (i) Estimate the viscous damping within the tympanic membrane itself, the presence of which may help smooth the broadband response of a potentially highly resonant TM, and (ii) Investigate the function of a peculiar feature of human middle-ear anatomy, the thin mucosal epithelial fold that couples the mid part of the human manubrium to the TM. Sound induced motions of the surface of ex vivo human eardrums and mallei were measured with stroboscopic holography, which yields maps of the amplitude and phase of the displacement of the entire membrane surface at selected frequencies. The results of these measurements were similar, but not identical to measurements made in intact ears. The holography measurements were complemented by laser-Doppler vibrometer measurements of sound-induced umbo velocity, which were made with fine-frequency resolution. Comparisons of these measurements to predictions from a new anatomically accurate FE model with varied membrane characteristics suggest the TM contains viscous elements, which provide relatively low damping, and that the epithelial fold that connects the central section of the human manubrium to the TM only loosely couples the TM to the manubrium. The laser-Doppler measurements in two preparations also suggested the presence of significant variation in the complex modulus of the TM between specimens. Some animations illustrating the model results are available at our website (www.uantwerp.be/en/rg/bimef/downloads/tympanic-membrane-motion).
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Native Mandarin normal-hearing (NH) listeners can easily perceive lexical tones even under conditions of great voice pitch variations across speakers by using the pitch contrast between context and target stimuli. It is however unclear whether cochlear implant (CI) users with limited access to pitch cues can make similar use of context pitch cues for tone normalization. In this study, native Mandarin NH listeners and pre-lingually deafened unilaterally implanted CI users were asked to recognize a series of Mandarin tones varying from Tone 1 (high-flat) to Tone 2 (mid-rising) with or without a preceding sentence context. Most of the CI subjects used a hearing aid (HA) in the non-implanted ear (i.e., bimodal users) and were tested both with CI alone and CI+HA. In the test without context, typical S-shaped tone recognition functions were observed for most CI subjects and the function slopes and perceptual boundaries were similar with either CI alone or CI+HA. Compared to NH subjects, CI subjects were less sensitive to the pitch changes in target tones. In the test with context, NH subjects had more (resp. fewer) Tone-2 responses in a context with high (resp. low) fundamental frequencies, known as the contrastive context effect. For CI subjects, a similar contrastive context effect was found statistically significant for tone recognition with CI+HA but not with CI alone. The results suggest that the pitch cues from CIs may not be sufficient to consistently support the pitch contrast processing for tone normalization. The additional pitch cues from aided residual acoustic hearing can however provide CI users with a similar tone normalization capability as NH listeners.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to improve the auditory brainstem implant, a prosthesis in which user outcomes are modest, we applied electric and infrared neural stimulation (INS) to the cochlear nucleus in a rat animal model. Electric stimulation evoked regions of neural activation in the inferior colliculus and short-latency, multipeaked auditory brainstem responses (ABRs). Pulsed INS, delivered to the surface of the cochlear nucleus via an optical fiber, evoked broad neural activation in the inferior colliculus. Strongest responses were recorded when the fiber was placed at lateral positions on the cochlear nucleus, close to the temporal bone. INS-evoked ABRs were multipeaked but longer in latency than those for electric stimulation; they resembled the responses to acoustic stimulation. After deafening, responses to electric stimulation persisted, whereas those to INS disappeared, consistent with a reported “optophonic” effect, a laser-induced acoustic artifact. Thus, for deaf individuals who use the auditory brainstem implant, INS alone did not appear promising as a new approach.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) is a method used primarily in basic science experiments to advance the understanding of information processing in central nervous system pathways. With this mechanistic approach, manganese (Mn2+) acts as a calcium surrogate, whereby voltage-gated calcium channels allow for activity driven entry of Mn2+ into neurons. The detection and quantification of neuronal activity via Mn2+ accumulation is facilitated by “hemodynamic-independent contrast” using high resolution MRI scans. This review emphasizes initial efforts to-date in the development and application of MEMRI for evaluating tinnitus (the perception of sound in the absence of overt acoustic stimulation). Perspectives from leaders in the field highlight MEMRI related studies by comparing and contrasting this technique when tinnitus is induced by high-level noise exposure and salicylate administration. Together, these studies underscore the considerable potential of MEMRI for advancing the field of auditory neuroscience in general and tinnitus research in particular. Because of the technical and functional gaps that are filled by this method and the prospect that human studies are on the near horizon, MEMRI should be of considerable interest to the auditory research community.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Speech perception in multitalker environments often requires listeners to divide attention among several concurrent talkers before focusing on one talker with pertinent information. Such attentionally demanding tasks are particularly difficult for older adults due both to age-related hearing loss (presbacusis) and general declines in attentional processing and associated cognitive abilities. This study investigated two signal-processing techniques that have been suggested as a means of improving speech perception accuracy of older adults: time stretching and spatial separation of target talkers. Stimuli in each experiment comprised 2-4 fixed-form utterances in which listeners were asked to consecutively 1) detect concurrently spoken keywords in the beginning of the utterance (divided attention); and, 2) identify additional keywords from only one talker at the end of the utterance (selective attention). In Experiment 1, the overall tempo of each utterance was unaltered or slowed down by 25%; in Experiment 2 the concurrent utterances were spatially coincident or separated across a 180-degree hemifield. Both manipulations improved performance for elderly adults with age-appropriate hearing on both tasks. Increasing the divided attention load by attending to more concurrent keywords had a marked negative effect on performance of the selective attention task only when the target talker was identified by a keyword, but not by spatial location. These findings suggest that the temporal and spatial modifications of multitalker speech improved perception of multitalker speech primarily by reducing competition among cognitive resources required to perform attentionally demanding tasks.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMP) represent extraocular muscle activity in response to vestibular stimulation. To specify the value of oVEMP in the diagnostics of Menière’s disease, the amplitude ratio between 500 and 1000 Hz stimuli was investigated. Thirty-nine patients with certain Menière’s disease, i.e. definite Menière’s disease with visualization of endolymphatic hydrops by magnetic resonance imaging and 19 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. oVEMP were recorded using 500 and 1000 Hz air-conducted tone bursts. For Menière’s ears, the 500/1000 Hz amplitude ratio (mean ratio = 1.20) was significantly smaller when compared to unaffected ears of Menière’s patients (mean ratio = 1.80; p = 0.008) or healthy controls (mean ratio = 1.81; p = 0.011). The amplitude ratio was neither correlated with the degree of endolymphatic hydrops nor with the duration of disease. While an older age was associated with a diminished amplitude ratio in healthy controls, there was no correlation between the amplitude ratio and age in Menière’s ears. Hence, the calculation of the oVEMP 500/1000 Hz amplitude ratio may be a valuable diagnostic tool for Menière’s disease.
    Hearing research 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Patients that receive radiotherapy are at risk of late sensorineural hearing loss when the inner ear is included within the radiation field. Preclinical and human temporal bone studies have shown that there is differential damage to cochlear structures depending on the amount of dose delivered to the inner ear. In vitro studies have suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are the main initial actors in radiation-induced damage. The interaction of ROS with different cellular components can result in different apoptotic pathways. Therefore, approaches to radioprotection are mainly aimed to reduce ROS production through antioxidants. This review summarizes recent research in the field that can improve the understanding and boost preventive efforts of this adverse effect.
    Hearing research 01/2014;

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