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Say what Turning right ear to sound helps you hear better scientists

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first_imgIt is the first time the effect has been found to work in adults.”Conventional research shows that right-ear advantage diminishes around age 13, but our results indicate this is related to the demand of the task,” said Dr Aurora Weaver, assistant professor at Auburn and member of the research team. The research could help scientists improve hearing aids  The research could help scientists improve hearing aids Credit:Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo  “Cognitive skills, of course, are subject to decline with advanced aging, disease, or trauma,” added Dr Weaver.”Therefore, we need to better understand the impact of cognitive demands on listening.”The research was presented at the annual Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Listening with the right ear stimulates the left side of the brain which processes language center_img For the new experiment, 41 participants aged between 19 and 28 were asked to wear a headset and recall a list of numbers played into either their right, or left ear piece.The researchers found that when the list of numbers was small – fewer than six digits – there was no difference in ear performance. However as the list grew, results were an average of eight per cent better when the numbers were played into to the right hand ear. The performance of some individuals improved as much as 41 per cent for the right ear.Scientists knew that children hear more easily through the right ear but it was thought that by adulthood, both ears had taken on equal load.The team are hoping the research will help improve hearing aids and deafness testing. Listening with the right ear stimulates the left side of the brain which processes language  Researcher Danielle Sacchinelli added: “The more we know about listening in demanding environments, and listening effort in general, the better diagnostic tools, auditory management, including hearing aids, and auditory training will become.”Recent research also suggested that loss of hearing is a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, because it puts a greater strain on the brain when interpreting sound.So the new study could also help scientists understand how deafness impacts neurodegenerative diseases. Many people, when struggling to hear, will naturally cock their head to the right hand side, in a bid to improve the sound.But a new study has shown that the instinctual movement has a scientific basis. The right ear is indeed better equipped for not only listening but also making sense of noise.And it is to do with how the brain interprets sound.Listening is a complex task which requires not only sensitive hearing, but also the ability to turn the information into meaning. Once you add the distraction of background noise and the constant interruptions of modern life, that ability to comprehend becomes far more tricky.However sound entering the right ear is processed by the left side of the brain, which controls speech, language development, and portions of memory.So turning the right ear towards the speaker, or noise source, will allow more information to travel to the side of the brain where it can be more easily interpreted, according to audiology researchers at Auburn University in Alabama, US.last_img read more