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Disentangling the effects of noise and age on functional hearing
Here we want to investigate the long-term effects of noise-induced hidden hearing loss, and compare them to normal age-related decline of auditory function. We will study what happens when the aging brain has to deal a signal of poor quality from a noise-damaged cochlea, a situation which is potentially further aggravated through age-related hearing damage. For this, we will use subjects that will be noise-exposed and then aged, and compare them to age-matched unexposed subjects. We will characterize hearing function through neural recordings from the auditory brain at time points up to two years after noise exposure, examining basic neuronal response properties, adaptation to different acoustic environments, and spontaneous neuronal activity. By comparing across the groups, we will be able to disentangle the influence of noise-induced and age-related cochlear damage and general aging processes on information processing in the auditory brain.
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