Hearing loss changes the brain

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered that hearing loss leads to a remodelling of the brain in which auditory regions are overtaken by the sensory system that corresponds to touch. This cross-model plasticity could explain why some people with hearing loss struggle with therapies. Alex Meredith, lead scientist on the study stated, “Our study indicates that hearing deficits in adult animals result in a conversion of their brain’s sound processing centres to respond to another sensory modality, making the interpretation of residual hearing even more difficult.” Even if a person retains some ability to hear, the brain restructuring makes it difficult to process sounds.

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