Auditory Brain Processing

Auditory processing is the brain activity responsible for understanding what we are hearing as sounds, words and music. The main areas are the temporal lobes, but studies show the involvement of other lobes and subcortical nuclei as well during the process of recognizing what we hear. 

Cortical Deafness

The term cortical deafness was established by Wernicke and Friedlander in 1883 whose patient had a brain injury in both temporal lobes causing him to lose consciousness of sound. People with this condition do not turn to the source of the sound because they are unable to differentiate the presence and absence of the stimulus, despite having hearing thresholds within the normal limits for their age group. However, reading, writing and speaking are more preserved.

Auditory Agnosias

General (or global) auditory agnosia: This is an impairment in sound processing but, unlike cortical deafness, it maintains awareness of sound. Their hearing is intact even though they do not understand what they are hearing. In this case, reading, writing and speaking are also preserved.

Sometimes auditory agnosias can affect only one type of sound, although it is more common to find several alterations together. Auditory agnosias are classified according to their alteration in relation to sound:

  • Auditory-verbal agnosia (or deafness to speech): Does not understand spoken words, making communication between other people impossible.
  • Agnosias for environmental sounds: People with this condition cannot process environmental sounds, although they can understand oral language.
  • Amusias: They do not recognize different musical features, but they can process words and environmental sounds.

AI and Rehabilitation

Traditionally, rehabilitation treatments have focused on mitigating the disturbances that produce limitations in daily life. However, the world of technology is advancing very rapidly and, in fact, there are several technological therapies with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that are helping people to recover the ability they had lost.

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