Men hear better than women…at parties

Men hear better than women – at parties 

Men are more capable of separating relevant sounds from background noise at parties, a German study has found. The reason may be that in the early days of humanity men were the ones who went hunting for food.

Many of us know the situation; at a party you would like to talk to a person but this can be quite exhausting due to the background noise. The words of your conversation partner are drowned out by the conversation of others and the music. We have to concentrate on the voice of the person we are talking to and separate the relevant sounds from the background noise. Our attention system is therefore highly stressed. This is known as “the cocktail party phenomenon”.

German researchers have found that men hear better at parties and are more capable of separating relevant sounds from the background noise.

Natural selection and evolution

The researchers from the Neurological Clinic of the University Hospital and the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) in Tübingen, Germany, found that the audio-spatial abilities of men are more highly developed than those of women. The researchers think that men’s ability to hear better at parties may be due to the different evolutionary requirements of the sexes. Over time men have developed these spatial abilities as a result of natural and sexual selection throughout human evolution.

“Men were the ones who hunted for food. Here, attention performance was extremely important. Thus prey could be localised by noise before it could be seen,” said Ida Zündorf and Prof. Hans Otto Karnath from the University Hospital in Tübingen.

The study

In the study, the participants were asked to listen to sounds and determine the location of the sound source. In a first test, sounds were presented one at a time and both women and men accomplished the task with great accuracy. In a further test, several sounds were presented at the same time and the participants had to focus on and localise only one sound. The latter was much more difficult for women. In some cases women even thought that the sounds were coming from the opposite direction.

Source: Hörakustik, 9/2011,—at-parties-1

Triumph Over Tinnitus

A how to guide of tools and techniques, this book offers new hope for tinnitus sufferers.

“Over the course of my career, I have read so many books on tinnitus, and have searched for one that was well written, clear and concise that I could recommend to tinnitus suffers. I have found it in Triumph over Tinnitus. I recommend this book to all of my tinnitus patients plus the students in the doctoral level tinnitus course that I teach. This is a must read for audiologists.” Donna Segal Au.D. Doctor of Audiology Indianapolis

What Sound Therapy listeners are saying:

“Then my energy level started going up and I stopped getting the ringing in my ears.” Alex Scripps, sound engineer
“Within three months I was noise free. While it isn’t a miracle cure, the cure is quite miraculous.” Elaine Sax, former accountant
“ I suddenly realised I didn’t have tinnitus any more!” Kelvin Pleming, former panel beater

Triumph over Tinnitus Book

ISBN 9780957924635 (214 pages) Price: $24.95

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 1 in 5 people in their lifetime
  • Based on seventeen years of personal research, and field experience of more than 25 years, Rafaele Joudry contrasts Sound Therapy, psychology, retraining therapies, biochemistry, and biofeedback with conventional medical approaches.
  • Sound Therapy, based on discoveries by the ear specialist, Dr Tomatis, is safe, easy to use and pleasurable.

Evidence shows that 80-90% of tinnitus sufferers may be helped Praise for Triumph Over Tinnitus

“As an audiologist, Sound Therapy has been the missing link to assist my patients.”
Donna Segal Au.D. Doctor of Audiology Indianapolis

“It seems that it is the re-establishing of the ability to listen to the higher frequency that is responsible for repairing and reorganising cortical pathways. Hundreds of adults report they have been helped with severe depression and have over come anxiety, caused by diminished hearing and tinnitus, helping them develop better communication skills, creativity and self-confidence.”

George B. Richards, Ph.D. Doctor of Audiology

From the foreword by
Dr Donna Segal Au.D CCC-A
Doctor of Audiology Indianapolis

“Triumph over Tinnitus is an excellent resource for any person experiencing tinnitus as well as healthcare practitioners who encounter those with this condition. It is very easy to read and well outlined. It begins by presenting a clear explanation of tinnitus to educate the reader which often eases their mind about their symptoms. It then explains the origin and basics behind Sound Therapy and how it can be used to ease the symptoms of those experiencing tinnitus.

The variety of testimonials presented is very informative and provides support in the reader’s understanding of how Sound Therapy can be used to assist tinnitus suffers. There are step by step instructions on how to use Sound Therapy. The chapter on prevention explains a variety of approaches that have been utilized and are currently available for tinnitus suffers as well as tips on preventing the possible development of tinnitus. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on nutrition and wholistic therapies.”

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help Tinnitus, request a Free Report.

Notched Music Therapy VS Sound Therapy

By Rafaele Joudry

A small study of 8 people has indicated support for a new technique called notched music therapy. The principle is that tinnitus is treated by reducing neural responsiveness to the particular frequency of the tinnitus. This is achieved by removing frequencies at the pitch of the patient’s tinnitus from the music.

While this specifically tailored approach may be useful for some people, a similar result has been achieved for over 50 years through Sound Therapy based on the discoveries of Dr. Tomatis. This approach also stimulates neural development and improves the responsiveness and efficiency of neural pathways to sound. The filtering process is applied to the music which stimulates new pathways in the brain causing a remapping of the auditory areas. Although the program is not tailored to a particular pitch of tinnitus, it is still very efficacious because it is stimulating response in the full range of frequencies. Because classical music is so complex and so rich in high frequencies it is the ideal foundation on which to base such a program. Gradual and progressive filtering where high frequencies are intermittently enhanced achieves several results in the auditory system.

  1. The middle ear muscles are stimulated with bursts of sound with greater intensity in particular frequency bands, in response to the great variety and dynamic range of the classical music.
  2. Inter-neural communications mean that this increased muscular responsiveness ‘wakes up’ or activates all of the auditory pathways through the mechanism of cellular plasticity.
  3. The ear is then responsive so that different groups of cilia (receptor cells) in the inner ear can be stimulated with the progressively increasing frequencies in the music.
  4. Thus the entire hearing range is stimulated and normalized, resulting for many people in improved hearing acuity and reduced tinnitus.

The multiple elements of this program offer many more potential benefits to the tinnitus sufferer than the simple removal of a certain band of frequencies as in notched music therapy. Such a procedure is unnecessary in most cases, as the overall enhancement of auditory processing usually enables the brain to re-habituate itself and eliminate the recurrence of the tinnitus noise.

1. Goldstein, B. A., et al Tinnitus Improvement with Ultra-High-Frequency Vibration Therapy. International Tinnitus Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, 14–22 (2005)

2. Hanley, P. J., Davis, P. B., Paki, D., Quinn, S. A., Bellekom, S.R., Treatment of tinnitus with a customized, dynamic acoustic neural stimulus: clinical outcomes in general private practice. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol., 2008 Nov;117(11):791-9.

3. Jastreboff, P.J.,  Hazel, W.P. A  Neurophysiological approach to Tinnitus:  Clinical Implications,” British Journal of Audiology, 1993, 27, 7-17.

4. Okamoto H, et al “Listening to tailor-made notched music reduces tinnitus loudness and tinnitus-related auditory cortex activity” PNAS 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911268107.

5. Sasaki et al., 1980: Gerken et al, 1986: Salvi et al., 1992. cited in Jastreboff  ‘93.

6. Tomatis, A. A. (1977). The Conscious Ear, New York: Station Hill Press.

7. W. M. Jenkins, M. M. Merzenich, M. T. Ochs, T. Allard and E. Guic-Robles  Functional reorganization of primary somatosensory cortex in adult owl monkeys after behaviorally controlled tactile stimulation J Neurophysiol 63: 82-104, 1990; 0022-3077/90.

Background Noise

 When trying to sing in church I could not hear my own voice, and so gave up trying. Whereas I used to enjoy music, now it just existed and gave me very little lift. I had to try so hard to distinguish any words a soloist was singing.

Road noise drove me frantic. The noises I did not want to hear became a maddening roar, and those I wanted to hear I could not.

After listening to the Sound Therapy tapes, all this is changing. It brings tears of gratitude to my eyes, this recharging of life, made possible by this wonderful therapy. I can now hear the timbre in my own voice as I sing equally with that of others, and I can even hear the birds singing as I walk in the park. I am using my hearing aids less and less.

It is more that just improved hearing though. I find myself able and willing to communicate with people, it is easier to smile and reciprocate love.

William A. Whiteside
Toowomba, Queensland

see more testimonials regarding background noise


Brain Integration

Right and left brain hemispheres

The left brain hemisphere is the language-processing centre. The right brain is used for spatial judgment, movement, drawing, music, mathematics and technical abilities. Brain integration is one of the keys to improving memory, concentration, creativity, energy levels, IQ, EQ and many other markers of intelligence.

Sound therapy works on both sides to develop areas where we might be weak and improve communication between the hemispheres. For this reason Sound Therapy listeners often find themselves developing new abilities and overcoming blocks.

Why are high frequencies important for the Brain?

Through his study of embryology, Tomatis realised that the first sounds we hear are high frequency sounds because the area of the cochlea which detects high frequencies is the first to develop.

Through his experiments Tomatis showed that high frequency sounds serve as a vital and necessary stimulant for cortical activity. The brain needs high frequencies in order to be fully functional. The electrical charge of the brain, the energy on which it runs, needs to be regularly replenished and Tomatis discovered a way to do this by using specially processed sounds.

The cerebellum

The cerebellum plays a significant role in sensory co-ordination, both visual and auditory, and has been dubbed the autopilot of the brain. It is an area of the brain about the size of your fist, which sits behind the brainstem at the base of your skull. Sound Therapy researchers now believe that any learning difficulty associated with auditory processing problems is linked to the cerebellum.

Researchers are only now beginning to unravel the deeply important role of the cerebellum, for while it directs no specific body functions, it operates as monitor and coordinator of the brain’s other centres and as mediator between them and the body.

It has been known for some time that the cerebellum was responsible for the management of the body’s equilibrium and muscular activity. However, it has more recently come to light that the cerebellum is equally involved in the co-ordination of the sensations of touch, hearing and sight.

Sound Therapy brings about improved function and brain integration of cerebellar pathways and this means that many areas of our sensory and motor function are improved.

To learn more about how Sound Therapy improves neural functioning, request one of our Free Reports.


Athletes of all levels stand to improve their performance through the use of Sound Therapy. Though sports performance may seem a far cry form listening to music, in fact they are closely related. Movement and music are two different, but very effective ways of stimulating the brain. Recent advances in the fields of learning difficulties and chiropractic neurology clearly indicate that co-ordination, spatial calculation and response speed can be stimulated if auditory processing is improved. The part of the brain now known to be intimately involved in this connection is the cerebellum, which integrates many of the automatic functions of the body. Sound Therapy may assist with sports performance for a wide range of people from those who have poor co-ordination to top level athletes wishing to maximise their abilities.

Some of the specific ways that Sound Therapy may improve sports performance include:

  • Deeper, more refreshing sleep
  • Higher energy levels
  • Improved spatial judgement
  • Faster processing speed
  • Greater motivation
  • Improved sensory integration
  • More efficient automatic functions including breathing and heart rate
  • Better balance
  • Improved posture
  • Better joint flexibility
  • Reduced pain levels
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Steadier emotions


To learn more about how Sound Therapy could improve sport performance, request one of our Free Reports.


If you work in a musical field whether it is composing, playing an instrument or singing, Sound Therapy may increase your abilities and satisfaction in this area. Musicians, singers and music lovers report increased auditory perception, greater awareness of tones, frequencies and the emotional impact of music. At the same time, performance is enhanced. Whether you sing in the church choir or perform as a soloist, Sound Therapy is likely to give you both increased ability and enjoyment of your art. The ability to reproduce certain notes, to be inspired to create and interpret, just to enjoy listening, are all lifted to new heights.

This is not surprising, since the sense of listening is fundamental to musical performance and appreciation. If part of the listening capacity has diminished over time, musical abilities must necessarily be impaired. Improving the listening capacity will enhance both the physical ability to perform and the emotional response to appreciate music. Sound Therapy works on the listening capacity in several ways. The physical structures of the ear are stimulated to enhance their performance. Auditory pathways in the brain are activated, making processing of auditory information faster and more efficient, and the emotional psyche is opened on new levels by the process of sonic birth that is stimulated through the high frequency filtering.

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could improve musical performance, request one of our Free Reports.


Most parents who learn about Sound Therapy also choose to use it for themselves. Parents can use Sound Therapy to improve sleep and energy, reduce stress and deal with the daily demands of parenting. Listening along with your child can be fun and rewarding.

Prenatal Listening and Sound Therapy

In prenatal life, s ound is the first sense to develop fully. The foetus’ ear is ready to perceive sound at four and a half months. The baby listens to its mother’s heartbeat, respiration and digestive sounds. Dr Tomatis believes that the baby can also hear the mother’s voice and becomes familiar with this sound before birth. Tomatis discovered that the first sounds heard in utero are high frequency sounds (above 8,000 Hz) due to the development of the embryonic ear. Birth is often a traumatic event in which the child is pushed from the familiar and protected environment of the womb into a totally unknown world, to begin the process of learning to communicate with others.

The Effect of Sound Therapy

Dr Tomatis says the sound of the mother’s voice with its familiar tone and rhythm is what provides continuity between the pre-natal and post-natal worlds. The infant is particularly accustomed to the high frequency sounds of the voice as heard in the womb, and therefore has an immediate response of feeling reassured when presented with high frequency sounds filtered to a similar level. When the mother listens to Sound Therapy during her pregnancy, the benefits which she receives are passed on to the infant.

The effects of listening for the mother are soothing of her whole system and a stimulation to the cortex of the brain from the high frequency sound. Because of its connection with the vital pneumogastric (Vagus) nerve, the ear plays a part in nearly everything we feel including heartbeat and breathing or sensations like a tickle in the throat or butterflies in the stomach. The effects of the Sound Therapy are therefore passed through the mother’s whole body and have an influence on the development of the foetus.

How to listen

It is recommended that the mother listens regularly to Sound Therapy throughout her pregnancy. To obtain the full benefits of improved sleep, reduced stress and increased energy, the recommended listening time for an adult is three hours a day. This can be done during other activities however, so does not require the time to be set aside for listening alone.

Effects for the infant

When a child has been born to a mother who has been listening regularly to Sound Therapy, and the headphones are placed on the baby’s ears straight after birth, it will immediately stop crying, feeling relieved of the sudden isolation and separateness. Babies who’s mothers listened to Sound Therapy during pregnancy show a distinct lack of tension and anxiety as they grow. They have an inner peacefulness about them and are less reactive, making them easy to manage. They feel secure in their relationship with their mother and will go easily to other people. They have a natural appreciation for classical music and can continue to benefit from its healing properties. Studies have shown that children exposed to classical music before birth are more intelligent. It can also be beneficial for these children to listen to Sound Therapy as they grow and this may facilitate their development of communication and languages skills.

The Mother’s Voice Technique

Sound Therapy International now offers a miniature Electronic Ear which can be purchased for use in the home. The “Sound Therapy Converter” can be connected to speakers or headphones and will convert any music or voice tapes into Sound Therapy. Now the child can listen to a tape of its own mother’s voice as Sound Therapy through the Converter. This technique offers profound healing and is an important part of the Tomatis program, especially for children with serious problems. A Voice Attachment is also available which allows the child to hear its own voice through the Converter as it is speaking.

The Converter is usually introduced after an initial period of using the tapes. See our Product Catalogue for more details on the Sound Therapy Converter.

To learn more, request a Free Report on the research behind Sound Therapy.

Nutrition for the Ear

Why we need Nutrition today


Today we live in a world affected by many sorts of pollution. Our air, our homes, the soil and our water are all contaminated with thousands of different artificial chemicals. Many diseases are on the rise, including cancer, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity, hormone problems, infertility, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, attention deficit disorder, tinnitus and various autoimmune diseases. Natural therapists believe that these “twenty first century diseases” are caused by the huge increase in toxic chemicals affecting our environment and our bodies. There are now 75,000 chemicals in common daily use. 15% of Americans now suffer from chemical sensitivity.

Nutritional deficiency

Due to intensive chemical farming the soil used for agriculture has become depleted of minerals. It is calculated that to get the mineral content of a plate of spinach fifty years ago you would now have to eat fifty plates of spinach. The minerals that the body requires for a long and healthy life are not contained today in the food we can buy.
Foods today are picked green, transported long distances, sprayed, stored, preserved, modified and processed before reaching our table. This means that they reach our bodies depleted of the natural antioxidant properties of fresh food. Therefore, we are all affected by higher levels of free radicals than ever before, making it difficult for the body to resist disease.

How does nutrition help the ear and brain

The ear is often referred to as the most energy hungry organ of the body. All parts of the ear require high quantities of nutrients to function properly and to avoid degenerative problems such as hearing loss or tinnitus. Only if the right elements and enzymes are present can the nerves successfully fire the precise signals at millisecond intervals required to accurately transmit sound.

The delicate balance of this system can be upset by

  • Insufficient oxygen due to poor circulation in the inner ear
  • A deficiency in the trace minerals essential for enzyme activity
  • A toxic overload being carried by the body
  • Excessive free radical activity

The electrical stability of the cochlea depends upon the presence of minerals such as magnesium and calcium, and on a correct balance of necessary enzymes, fatty acids and amino acids.

The tiny hair like cells called cilia are the final stage of sound transmission before the charge is relayed to the auditory nerve. Slight disturbances in the equilibrium of enzymes can lead to the death of some of the cilia.

Colloidal minerals

Colloidal minerals are very minute particles which have already been absorbed and processed by plants. They come in a liquid form and are readily “bio available”, meaning the body can absorb them. They are estimated to be 90% more available to the body than other types of mineral supplements. A good colloidal mineral will contain at least 60 different minerals.

Super antioxidants

Over the last few decades many new sources of anti oxidants have been discovered. The first generation, vitamins A, C and E will work for three hours in the body. The second generation found in grape seed extract and pine bark extract and Ginkgo biloba will last two to three times longer. Third generation anti oxidants, (circuminoids) have now been discovered and will last for up to three days, cleaning your body of free radicals. A good anti oxidant supplement will contain all of these ingredients

The benefits

The health benefits of good quality nutritional supplementation are far reaching. Not only can this prevent chronic disease over the long term. It may also improve the health of the skin, gums and organs as well as improving digestion and circulation, reducing stress and boosting energy and general well being.

Information Sheet on Nutrition and Sound Therapy

To learn more about Sound Therapy, request one of our Free Reports.

Sound Sensitivity and sensitive ears

Living with sound sensitivity and sensitive ears

There are various ways of defining sound sensitivity and sensitive ears. Some people may simply have an unusual level of irritation caused by certain loud noises. “Hyperacusis” means that something is wrong with the functioning of the ear or auditory reception pathways in the brain so that sounds are experienced as being very loud, even painful. “Phonophobia” refers to a state where the person develops an emotional reactivity or fear of sound and is reacting to psychological as opposed to physical causes. In some cases both conditions may be combined. A more extreme form of sound sensitivity is “recruitment” where a sound becomes magnified by the ear so it echoes or reverberates inside the head and becomes much louder than the original sound.

Only those who experience or live with someone who experiences sound sensitivity can realize what a devastating effect it can have on life. It may become a painful or frightening experience going out into traffic, travelling, being near household or kitchen appliances, loud music, cinemas, theatres and a great many social activities. A person with one of these conditions may become isolated, may have to live in a remote area and avoid normal activities such as work, entertainment, travelling and social events. Milder cases are still a major inconvenience as there is little understanding in our society of this type of disability. No matter where you go, the world is a noisy place.

How does Sound Therapy help sound sensitivity

The ear should naturally have the resilience to adapt to sounds as quiet as hearing a pin drop or as loud as an opera singer. When this ability is lost it is because certain parts of the ear have lost their functionality. For example, the muscles in the middle ear may have become stiff or unresponsive so they do not quickly adapt the ear to the volume of incoming sound. Pressure chambers in the ear may be blocked, or auditory pathways in the brain may be functioning inefficiently. Although Sound Therapy often improves hearing for those who have lost some of their hearing, if you have over sensitive hearing it may well reduce this by restoring the adaptability of the ear.

Most people find their irritation with sound decreases and their tolerance increases after a certain period of using Sound Therapy. The program gently activates all parts of the ear with the aim of restoring the ear’s natural ability to protect itself from noise that is too loud, as well as improving the perception of all frequencies of sound.

Research and Media


To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help alleviate sound sensitivity, request one of our Free Reports.