Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hearing Loss In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory

Date:
August 16, 2005
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
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.

Waltham, Mass. -- In a new study, Brandeis University researchersconclude that older adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss mayexpend so much cognitive energy on hearing accurately that theirability to remember spoken language suffers as a result.

The study, published in the latest issue of Current Directions inPsychological Science, showed that even when older adults could hearwords well enough to repeat them, their ability to memorize andremember these words was poorer in comparison to other individuals ofthe same age with good hearing.

"There are subtle effects of hearing loss on memory and cognitivefunction in older adults," said lead author Arthur Wingfield, NancyLurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience at the Volen National Center forComplex Systems at Brandeis University. "The effect of expending extraeffort comprehending words means there are fewer cognitive resourcesfor higher level comprehension."

"This extra effort in the initial stages of speech perception usesprocessing resources that would otherwise be available for downstreamoperations, such as encoding the material in memory or performinghigher-level comprehension operations," explained co-authors PatriciaA. Tun and Sandra L. McCoy.

A group of older adults with good hearing and a group withmild-to-moderate hearing loss participated in the study. Eachparticipant listened to a fifteen-word list and was asked to rememberonly the last three words. All words were delivered at the same volume.Both groups showed excellent recall for the final word, but thehearing-loss group displayed poorer recall of the two words precedingit.

Because both groups could correctly report the final word, it wasreasoned that the hearing-loss group's failure to remember the othertwo words was not a result of their inability to hear/correctlyidentify them. The authors interpret this as a demonstration of theeffortfulness principle-- the increased effort required detracted fromthe 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 howhearing loss can affect cognitive function," said Dr. Wingfield.

He suggested that individuals who interact with older people with somehearing loss could modify how they speak by speaking clearly andpausing after clauses, or chunks of meaning, not necessarily slowingdown speech dramatically.

###

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the AmericanPsychological Society, presents the latest advances in theory andresearch in psychology. This important and timely journal containsconcise reviews spanning all of scientific psychology and itsapplications.

The American Psychological Society represents psychologists advocating science-based research in the public's interest. www.psychologicalscience.org

Over the last 15 years Dr. Wingfield and Dr. Tun have carried outextensive programs of research, funded by National Institute on Aging,studying effects of aging on speech processing and memory for spokenlanguage. More recently they have focused on effects of mild tomoderate hearing loss, and how sensory changes interact withcomprehension and memory for speech in younger and older adults.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "Hearing Loss In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164329.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2005, August 16). Hearing Loss In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164329.htm
Brandeis University. "Hearing Loss In Older Adults May Compromise Cognitive Resources For Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164329.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins