Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hearing loss in older adults may compromise cognitive resources for memory

31.08.2005


The effort required to correctly hear and identify words may diminish the resources needed to memorize them



In a new study, Brandeis University researchers conclude that older adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss may expend so much cognitive energy on hearing accurately that their ability to remember spoken language suffers as a result.

The study, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, showed that even when older adults could hear words well enough to repeat them, their ability to memorize and remember these words was poorer in comparison to other individuals of the same age with good hearing.


"There are subtle effects of hearing loss on memory and cognitive function in older adults," said lead author Arthur Wingfield, Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience at the Volen National Center for Complex Systems at Brandeis University. "The effect of expending extra effort comprehending words means there are fewer cognitive resources for higher level comprehension."

"This extra effort in the initial stages of speech perception uses processing resources that would otherwise be available for downstream operations, such as encoding the material in memory or performing higher-level comprehension operations," explained co-authors Patricia A. Tun and Sandra L. McCoy.

A group of older adults with good hearing and a group with mild-to-moderate hearing loss participated in the study. Each participant listened to a fifteen-word list and was asked to remember only the last three words. All words were delivered at the same volume. Both groups showed excellent recall for the final word, but the hearing-loss group displayed poorer recall of the two words preceding it.

Because both groups could correctly report the final word, it was reasoned that the hearing-loss group’s failure to remember the other two words was not a result of their inability to hear/correctly identify them. The authors interpret this as a demonstration of the effortfulness principle-- the increased effort required detracted from the cognitive processes of memorizing these words.

"This study is a wake-up call to anyone who works with older people, including health care professionals, to be especially sensitive to how hearing loss can affect cognitive function," said Dr. Wingfield.

He suggested that individuals who interact with older people with some hearing loss could modify how they speak by speaking clearly and pausing after clauses, or chunks of meaning, not necessarily slowing down speech dramatically.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society, presents the latest advances in theory and research in psychology. This important and timely journal contains concise reviews spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications.

Laura Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brandeis.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>