Good News For Hearing Impaired Person; White Noise Can Improve Cochlear Implants Effect

A new study says that if cochlear implants are stimulated using an effect that matches white noise it can help in improving the hearing of the users. The researchers have proved that even when there is continuous white noise in the background, a hearing impaired person can listen to the pure sound more precisely. The findings published in the journal Cell Reports can be used to develop the cochlear implants operations further.

It is a proven fact that the more precisely a person can differentiate between various sound patterns; the better is his hearing sense. This current study was conducted keeping in view as to how a brain distinguishes between relevant and less relevant details, more so when there is background noise.

Research Focusing On Auditory Cortex

The research on white noise was conducted by the team of Prof. Dr. Tania Rinaldi Barkat, Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. The team investigated the ability of neurons to perceive and discriminate between sounds in a sound environment with multiple types of noises. The scientists focused on the auditory brain or the auditory cortex.

It is that area of the brain that performs the function of processing acoustic stimuli. The measurements of the activity patterns were taken from a mouse brain. The team at the University of Basel successfully demonstrated that the ability of the brain to differentiate subtle tones showed improvement when white noise was introduced in the background.

It proved that as compared to a very quiet environment white noise can facilitate in improving auditory perception. The data further indicated that white noise can inhibit nerve cell activity to a large extent. According to experts, these findings can be helpful in the future in improving auditory perception in conditions where a hearing impaired person can distinguish between sounds.

Dr. Barkat is confident that cochlear implants can be stimulated using the effect similar to white noise.