Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deafening Affects Vocal Nerve Cells Within Hours

Like humans, songbirds depend on hearing to learn their mating songs -- males that sing poorly don't attract mates, so hearing a song, learning it, and singing correctly are all critical for songbird survival. Songbirds also resemble humans and differ from most other animals in that their songs fall apart when they lose their hearing, and this feature makes them an ideal organism to study how hearing loss may affect the parts of the brain that control vocalization, Mooney said. "I will go out on a limb and say that I think similar changes also occur in human brains after hearing loss, specifically in Broca's area, a part of the human brain that plays an important role in generating speech and that also receives inputs from the auditory system," Mooney said. more

No comments: