Article

Auditory development and the role of experience

University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK.
British Medical Bulletin (Impact Factor: 3.95). 02/2002; 63:171-81. DOI: 10.1093/bmb/63.1.171
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The human ear is functionally mature shortly after birth, but the central auditory system continues to develop for at least the first decade of life. Current interest focuses on the relation between the very late developing aspects of hearing and other aspects of cognition and behaviour. While active neural input to the brain is essential during the very early stages of development, auditory experience is now thought to be a powerful influence on central function throughout an individual's lifespan. Studies of sound localization and hearing with two ears have shown the capacity of the auditory system to adapt to altered environmental cues, even into adulthood. This environmental influence may either be harmful, as during conductive deafness, or beneficial, as evidenced by the positive outcomes of auditory training.

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    • "Children not only appear to have a greater degree of internal noise than adults (Buss et al., 2006), but their perceptual performance may also be subject to constraints imposed by different sources of noise due to the different maturational trajectories of sensory and cognitive processes. While the ascending, sensory system is largely mature by 2 years of age (Moore, 2002), more central and cognitive functions continue to develop into adolescence and even adulthood (e.g., Bishop et al., 2011; Moore and Linthicum, 2007). It is likely therefore that cognitive limitations will play a greater role than sensory limitations in children's difficulties in performing perceptual tasks (see Moore, 2012). "
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    4th International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research, Nyborg, Denmark; 08/2013
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    • "Considering the precocity, the progressive nature and the plasticity of the functional development of the auditory system, the perceptual abilities demonstrated in newborns are unlikely to have blossomed at birth (Granier-Deferre & Lecanuet, 1987; D. Moore, 2002; J. Moore, 2002). If so, prenatal auditory experience makes an important contribution to the development of the newborn's capacities for speech perception (Lecanuet & Granier-Deferre, 1993; Lecanuet, Granier-Deferre & Busnel, 1991; Fifer & Moon, 1994, 1995; Moon et al., 1993; Moon & Fifer, 2000). "
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    Developmental Science 03/2011; 14(2):336-52. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00978.x · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    • "Performance on auditory tasks tends to improve from infancy to adulthood, but it can be hard to know how much of the improvement reflects changes in the physiology of the auditory system, and how much is due to improved ability to cope strategically with task demands, e.g. by identifying relevant features, focusing attention at the time point when an auditory stimulus is delivered, and sustaining attention over several minutes (Banai & Ahissar, 2006; Sutcliffe & Bishop, 2005; Werner & Marean, 1996). Animal models can provide information about development of the auditory system (Illing, 2004), and have demonstrated that auditory experience plays a critical role in normal development of auditory cortex, findings that have parallels in humans (D. Moore, 2002). Nevertheless, it is difficult to generalize across species, because different animals follow different maturational timetables. "
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