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, www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.press.hear-it.org/Men-hear-better-than-women—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.

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.

Sports

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

Testimonials

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

Music

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.

Nutrition for the Ear

Why we need Nutrition today

Pollution

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

Testimonials

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

Blocked Ear

Living with blocked ear/sinus

We have spoken to many listeners who had a range of problems with blocked ear or sinus. Some people experience frequent clicking and popping in the ears, others have a permanent or intermittent sense of fullness or pressure in the ears. Some have difficulty when they fly or change altitude and find their hearing or balance is affected for some time. Blocked ears may affect hearing or balance, may contribute to tinnitus and often cause disturbance or distraction in hearing ones own voice. This can affect both speaking ability and singing. Chronic sinus problems can also be a cause of blocked ears and can mean constant irritation of the nose and eyes and frequently headaches. Sinus problems may respond to dietary changes, in particular avoiding wheat and dairy products. Even when this is done, our listeners have found that Sound Therapy is an additional support that makes a tremendous difference in helping to relieve long term, chronic sinus problems.

How does Sound Therapy help blocked ear?

The sensation of fullness, blocked ear, or frequent popping and clicking is caused by the inability of the Eustachian tube to open as required. The Eustachian tube connects the air filled chamber of the middle ear with the back of the throat, and is the only way to equalise the air pressure in the middle ear. When the pressure inside the middle ear does not match the air pressure outside the ear drum, the drum cannot vibrate freely as it should, so hearing becomes muffled.

The opening and closing of the Eustachian tube is controlled involuntarily by the hammer muscle, one of the muscles inside the middle ear. If the hammer muscle has become weak or over contracted, it cannot do its job correctly. Sound Therapy exercises and rehabilitates the hammer muscle, restoring its function and making equalization of the middle ear air pressure easy and automatic.

How does Sound Therapy help sinus problems

The sinuses are hollow chambers inside the head lined with mucous membrane. Tensions, swelling and imbalances in the pressure chambers of the ear can exacerbate inflammation of the sinuses. Consistent use of Sound Therapy eases the harmonious working of the various nerves, muscles and pressure chambers that constitute the ear, nose and throat system. There is a good chance therefore that Sound therapy may alleviate chronic sinus problems.

Research and Media

Testimonials

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help blocked ears, request one of our Free Reports.

Background Noise

Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)

The inability to differentiate sound from background noise is a very common problem affecting at least 20% of the population, both old and young. This condition may be an indication of hearing loss or the person may have acute hearing but simply have a problem with auditory discrimination.

Living with CPS

How bad is it really to live with a back ground noise discrimination problem? The difficulty this problem creates for most people is that they do not necessarily fit into the category of hard of hearing, a hearing aid will not help, people know you are not deaf, yet you have to be constantly explaining that you cannot hear in a noisy environment. So much of our social communication takes place in noisy environments, so normal communication becomes a daily dilemma. You meet someone at a conference who lives near you and says “Oh, why don’t we take the train home together?” You immediately panic, knowing the stress and embarrassment that will be caused for you all the way home because you cannot hear your companion over the noise of the train.

At social gatherings you are always nervous that you will respond inappropriately and embarrass yourself, you may say yes when you mean no, or no when you mean yes, or you could end up agreeing to a date or a business deal that you had no idea of. But you are not deaf! People telling you to get a hearing aid does no good, because you can hear perfectly well, you just can’t separate the fore sound from the background sound. No one has ever heard of or acknowledged your condition, practitioners tell you the problem is psychological and you just don’t want to listen. The good news is, you have exactly the same problem that brought Patricia Joudry to Sound Therapy and was the reason behind her developing the portable program to help thousands of others like herself.

How does Sound Therapy help CPS

There may be several factors which explain the remarkable effectiveness of Sound Therapy for background noise differentiation problems. The ability to differentiate and focus on specific sounds in a noisy environment is partly a function of the ear and partly of the brain. Dr Tomatis postulated that the middle ear muscles (the hammer and stirrup muscles) play a role in determining which sounds the ear will focus on. They have a tuning function, changing the tension on the ear drum and other membranes allowing the ear to tune in exactly to a certain sound input. The gymnastic rehabilitation of the middle ear muscles caused by Sound Therapy may contribute to the improved ability to differentiate sound from background noise.

Another aspect of the Cocktail Party Syndrome is Central Auditory Processing (CAP), which means the ability of the brain to sort and make sense of different, simultaneous auditory inputs. It is quite apparent from the results on learning, speech functions and short term memory that Sound Therapy facilitates Central Auditory Processing. The ear is the end organ through which the auditory parts of the brain can be stimulated. The organised harmonic structure of classical music with its stimulating effect further enhanced by the Electronic Ear has proved an effective way to increase neural efficiency in processing sound.

Research and Media

Testimonials

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help Cocktail Party Syndrome, request one of our Free Reports.