The Cognitive Hearing Laboratory opens in January 2021! We’re still working on building our website, so please visit soon to see new content.
Although our brains have tens of billions of neurons, the most important and meaningful signals of our lives—the voice of a loved one, a favourite song—pass through a bank of only 3,500 sensory cells inside the ear. We inevitably lose some of these cells as we age, but abuse of our ears through noise exposure and other trauma will accelerate this process. We now understand that the loss of hearing can drastically change how a person lives their life, and particularly affects thinking, remembering, and communication.
Our primary goal is to understand the relationship between hearing function, cognitive function, and overall social and emotional well-being. At the end, we want to instantiate change that champions a hearing-focused approach to a healthy and long-lived life. We can accomplish this by avoiding damaging levels of sound, sculpting our environment to reduce unneeded exposure to noise, and being proactive about addressing hearing health when we have suffered damage to our ears.