How Hearing Loss Impairs Communication in Lively Social Settings

February 24, 2023 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, PhD
Director of the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute

Abstract: Communicating in a social setting relies upon the ability to focus on an important sound amid competing sounds. In healthy, normal-hearing listeners, complex negotiations between volitional, top-down attention and involuntary, bottom-up attention allow listeners to focus on and understand whatever talker matters in a given moment. Yet, even a modest hearing impairment can hamstring a listener faced with such a task. This talk explores why sensory deficits can impair everyday communication, especially when a listener is trying to follow a conversation in a social setting, and the implications of this impairment.

Sponsored by the Research, Ethics and Society Initiative

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