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Douglas Beck, Au.D. Discusses “Turning Tide” in Cognition and Audiology


Presents Report at 2013 Academy of Doctors of Audiology and via satellite, at British Society of Audiology Meeting.

SOMERSET, NJ  November 14 -- Douglas Beck, Au.D., Director of Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc., recently presented “The Tide is Turning – Issues in Cognition and Audiology” to hearing care professionals attending two international conferences.  On November 9, Beck presented an in-depth three-hour seminar at the 2013 Academy of Doctors of Audiololgy (ADA) Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida. Earlier in the week, he had delivered a keynote address on the same topic via satellite to audiologists attending the British Society of Audiology Twilight Series Meeting, held in Birmingham, UK.  Beck’s presentations explored dynamic top-down (cognitive) and bottom-up (auditory) processing from contemporary audiology literature and addressed how cognition and audition work together to create auditory perceptions, language and cognitive processes. 

Douglas Beck AuD and Peer Lauritsen

Douglas Beck, Au.D., Director of Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc. (left), joins Oticon President Peer Lauritsen (right) at this year’s Academy of Doctors of Audiololgy (ADA) Conference. Oticon, Inc. is a sponsor of the 2013 conference held November 7-10 in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Beck noted that audiologists provide sound through hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, remote microphones and FM systems - all of which physically and physiologically alter the brain. In fact, neuroplastic brain changes occur across the entire lifespan secondary to sensory input. “What we now know based on the translational and peer reviewed literature is that each brain is different thus emphasizing the need for personalization in each hearing device fitting,” said Beck.  “One cannot simply place sound in the ears and presume what the cognitive impact and global image of that sound will be.”  He pointed out that the brain and the auditory system work together in a complimentary and synergistic fashion.  The “give and take” between brain processing (top-down, cognitive processing) and auditory processing (bottom-up, sensory processing) occurs simultaneously and each changes the other based on knowledge, exposure time, emotional content, spatial cues, background noise, attention, working memory and much more. “Cognition and audition work together to create our unique auditory perceptions, as well as our unique language and cognitive abilities,” he explained.

In speaking to hearing care professionals attending the ADA seminar, Beck detailed the ways in which cognitive and sensory interactions are directly impacted by the acoustic and processing ability of modern hearing aids. He also shared specific examples and benefits from extended bandwidths, adaptive directionality, advanced noise reduction circuits, remote microphones and FM systems.

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