Cognitive Flexibility and Inhibition in Individuals with Age-Related Hearing Loss.
ABSTRACT: Growing evidence suggests alterations in cognitive control processes in individuals with varying degrees of age-related hearing loss (ARHL); however, alterations in those with unaided mild ARHL are understudied. The current study examined two cognitive control processes, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition, in 21 older adults with unaided mild ARHL and 18 age- and education-matched normal hearing (NH) controls. All participants underwent comprehensive audiological and cognitive evaluations including Trail Making Test-B, Verbal Fluency, Stroop, and two Go/NoGo tasks. Group differences in cognitive flexibility and inhibition as well as associations between peripheral and central hearing ability and measures of cognitive flexibility and inhibition were investigated. Findings revealed that the ARHL group took significantly longer to complete the Stroop task and had higher error rates on NoGo trials on both Go/NoGo tasks relative to the NH controls. Additionally, poorer peripheral and central hearing were associated with poorer cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control. Our findings suggest slower and more inefficient inhibitory control in the mild ARHL group relative to the NH group and add to decades of research on the association between hearing and cognition.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL) can restore some loss of the auditory function with the use of hearing aids (HAs). However, what remains unknown are the physiological mechanisms that underlie how the brain changes with exposure to amplified sounds though the use of HAs. We aimed to examine behavioral and physiological changes induced by HAs. METHODS:Thirty-five older-adults with moderate ARHL with no history of hearing aid use were fit with HAs tested in aided and unaided conditions, and divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group used HAs during a period of six months. The control group did not use HAs during this period, but were given the opportunity to use them after the completion of the study. Both groups underwent testing protocols six months apart. Outcome measures included behavioral (speech-in-noise measures, self-assessment questionnaires) and electrophysiological brainstem recordings (frequency-following responses) to the speech syllable /ga/ in two quiet conditions and in six-talker babble noise. RESULTS:The experimental group reported subjective benefits on self-assessment questionnaires. Significant physiological changes were observed in the experimental group, specifically a reduction in fundamental frequency magnitude, while no change was observed in controls, yielding a significant time?×?group interaction. Furthermore, peak latencies remained stable in the experimental group but were significantly delayed in the control group after six months. Significant correlations between behavioral and physiological changes were also observed. CONCLUSIONS:The findings suggest that HAs may alter subcortical processing and offset neural timing delay; however, further investigation is needed to understand cortical changes and HA effects on cognitive processing. SIGNIFICANCE:The findings of the current study provide evidence for clinicians that the use of HAs may prevent further loss of auditory function resulting from sensory deprivation.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:(1) Measure sentence recognition in co-located and spatially separated target and masker configurations in school-aged children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) and with normal hearing (NH). (2) Compare self-reported hearing-related quality-of-life (QoL) scores in school-aged children with UHL and NH. DESIGN:Listeners were school-aged children (6 to 12 yrs) with permanent UHL (n = 41) or NH (n = 35) and adults with NH (n = 23). Sentence reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured using Hearing In Noise Test-Children sentences in quiet and in the presence of 2-talker child babble or a speech-shaped noise masker in target/masker spatial configurations: 0/0, 0/-60, 0/+60, or 0/±60?degrees azimuth. Maskers were presented at a fixed level of 55 dBA, while the level of the target sentences varied adaptively to estimate the SRT. Hearing-related QoL was measured using the Hearing Environments and Reflection on Quality of Life (HEAR-QL-26) questionnaire for child subjects. RESULTS:As a group, subjects with unaided UHL had higher (poorer) SRTs than age-matched peers with NH in all listening conditions. Effects of age, masker type, and spatial configuration of target and masker signals were found. Spatial release from masking was significantly reduced in conditions where the masker was directed toward UHL subjects' normal-hearing ear. Hearing-related QoL scores were significantly poorer in subjects with UHL compared to those with NH. Degree of UHL, as measured by four-frequency pure-tone average, was significantly correlated with SRTs only in the two conditions where the masker was directed towards subjects' normal-hearing ear, although the unaided Speech Intelligibility Index at 65 dB SPL was significantly correlated with SRTs in four conditions, some of which directed the masker to the impaired ear or both ears. Neither pure-tone average nor unaided Speech Intelligibility Index was correlated with QoL scores. CONCLUSIONS:As a group, school-aged children with UHL showed substantial reductions in masked speech perception and hearing-related QoL, irrespective of sex, laterality of hearing loss, and degree of hearing loss. While some children demonstrated normal or near-normal performance in certain listening conditions, a disproportionate number of thresholds fell in the poorest decile of the NH data. These findings add to the growing literature challenging the past assumption that one ear is "good enough."
Project description:Inhibitory control, the ability to suppress prepotent responses and resist irrelevant stimuli, is thought to play a critical role in the maintenance of obesity. However, electrophysiological performance related to different inhibitory control processes and their relationship with motor response inhibition and cognitive interference and potential biochemical mechanisms in middle-aged, obese women are as yet unclear. This work thus compared different neurocognitive Go/Nogo and Stroop task performance in healthy sedentary normal-weight and obese women, as well as their correlation with biochemical markers. Twenty-six healthy, sedentary obese women (obese group) and 26 age-matched (21-45 years old) normal-weight women (control group) were the participants, categorized by body mass index and percentage fat, as measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. They provided a fasting blood sample and performed two cognitive tasks (i.e., Go/Nogo and Stroop tasks) with concomitant electrophysiological recording. The N2 and P3 waveforms of event-related potential (ERP) were recorded. Although the between-group behavioral performance was comparable, the obese group relative to the control group showed significantly longer N2 latency and smaller P3 amplitude in the Stroop task and smaller N2 and P3 amplitudes in the Go/Nogo task. Significant inflammation response indices (e.g., CRP, leptin, adiponectin/leptin ratio) were observed in the obese group. The Nogo P3 amplitude was significantly correlated with the adiponectin/leptin ratio. These findings indicate that healthy obese women still exhibit deviant neurophysiological performance when performing Go/Nogo and Stroop tasks, where the adiponectin/leptin ratio could be one of the influencing factors for the deficit in neural processes of motor response inhibition.
Project description:Introduction : Speech recognition in adverse listening conditions becomes more difficult as we age, particularly for individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Whether these difficulties can be eased with training remains debated, because it is not clear whether the outcomes are sufficiently general to be of use outside of the training context. The aim of the current study was to compare training-induced learning and generalization between normal-hearing older adults and those with ARHL. Methods : Fifty-six listeners (60-72 y/o), 35 participants with ARHL, and 21 normal hearing adults participated in the study. The study design was a cross over design with three groups (immediate-training, delayed-training, and no-training group). Trained participants received 13 sessions of home-based auditory training over the course of 4 weeks. Three adverse listening conditions were targeted: (1) Speech-in-noise, (2) time compressed speech, and (3) competing speakers, and the outcomes of training were compared between normal and ARHL groups. Pre- and post-test sessions were completed by all participants. Outcome measures included tests on all of the trained conditions as well as on a series of untrained conditions designed to assess the transfer of learning to other speech and non-speech conditions. Results : Significant improvements on all trained conditions were observed in both ARHL and normal-hearing groups over the course of training. Normal hearing participants learned more than participants with ARHL in the speech-in-noise condition, but showed similar patterns of learning in the other conditions. Greater pre- to post-test changes were observed in trained than in untrained listeners on all trained conditions. In addition, the ability of trained listeners from the ARHL group to discriminate minimally different pseudowords in noise also improved with training. Conclusions : ARHL did not preclude auditory perceptual learning but there was little generalization to untrained conditions. We suggest that most training-related changes occurred at higher level task-specific cognitive processes in both groups. However, these were enhanced by high quality perceptual representations in the normal-hearing group. In contrast, some training-related changes have also occurred at the level of phonemic representations in the ARHL group, consistent with an interaction between bottom-up and top-down processes.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is a prevalent condition associated with increased risk for depression and cognitive decline. This 12-week prospective, double-blind pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of hearing aids (HAs) for depressed older adults with ARHL evaluated the feasibility of a novel research design. METHODS/DESIGN:N = 13 individuals aged ?60?years with Major Depressive Disorder or Persistent Depressive Disorder and at least mild hearing loss (pure tone average???30?dB) were randomized to receive full- (active) vs low-amplification (sham) HAs added to psychiatric treatment as usual. Duration of HA use in hours/day, adverse events frequency, attrition rate, and maintenance of the study blinding were the primary outcome measures. RESULTS:Compliance with HAs was excellent (>9 hours/day for both groups) and rates of adverse events and drop-outs did not differ between groups. Preliminary data demonstrated differential improvement for active vs sham HAs on hearing functioning (Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly [nonparametric effect size (np-ES) = 0.62]), depressive symptoms (Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology [np-ES = 0.31]), cognition (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status Immediate Memory [np-ES = 0.25]), and general functioning (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule [np-ES = 0.53]). Significantly greater than 50% of both groups correctly guessed their treatment assignment, indicating incomplete concealment of treatment allocation. CONCLUSIONS:This pilot RCT for ARHL and late-life depression was feasible to execute and showed clinical promise, but improved methods of blinding the experimental treatments are needed. Larger studies should investigate whether hearing remediation may be an effective preventative and/or therapeutic strategy for late-life depression and cognitive decline.
Project description:Children with sensorineural hearing loss show considerable variability in spoken language outcomes. The present study tested whether specific deficits in supra-threshold auditory perception might contribute to this variability. In a previous study by Halliday, Rosen, Tuomainen, and Calcus [(2019). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 146, 4299], children with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (MMHL) were shown to perform more poorly than those with normal hearing (NH) on measures designed to assess sensitivity to the temporal fine structure (TFS; the rapid oscillations in the amplitude of narrowband signals over short time intervals). However, they performed within normal limits on measures assessing sensitivity to the envelope (E; the slow fluctuations in the overall amplitude). Here, individual differences in unaided sensitivity to the TFS accounted for significant variance in the spoken language abilities of children with MMHL after controlling for nonverbal intelligence quotient, family history of language difficulties, and hearing loss severity. Aided sensitivity to the TFS and E cues was equally important for children with MMHL, whereas for children with NH, E cues were more important. These findings suggest that deficits in TFS perception may contribute to the variability in spoken language outcomes in children with sensorineural hearing loss.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Among older adults (OA), hearing loss is associated with an increased risk for falls. The aim of the present study was to experimentally investigate the cognitive compensation hypothesis, wherein decreased auditory and motor functioning are compensated by the recruitment of cognitive resources.<h4>Method</h4>Twenty-nine younger adults (YA), 26 OA, and 32 OA with age-related hearing loss (ARHL) completed a dual-task paradigm consisting of cognitive and balance recovery tasks performed singly and concurrently. The auditory stimuli were presented with or without background noise.<h4>Results</h4>Both older adult groups performed significantly worse than YA on the cognitive task in noisy conditions and ARHL also demonstrated disproportionate negative effects of dual-tasking and noise. The kinematic data indicated that OA and ARHL demonstrated greater plantarflexion when compared with YA. Conversely, YA showed greater hip extension in response to dual-tasking.<h4>Discussion</h4>The cognitive and balance results suggest that YA were able to flexibly allocate their attention between tasks, whereas ARHL exhibited prioritization of posture over cognitive performance.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is associated with cognitive dysfunction; however, the detailed underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential underlying mechanism with a system genetics approach. A transcriptome-wide association study was performed on aged (12-32 months old) BXD mice strains. The hippocampus gene expression was obtained from 56 BXD strains, and the hearing acuity was assessed from 54 BXD strains. Further correlation analysis identified a total of 1,435 hearing-related genes in the hippocampus (<i>p</i> < 0.05). Pathway analysis of these genes indicated that the impaired glutamatergic synapse pathway is involved in ARHL (<i>p</i> = 0.0038). Further gene co-expression analysis showed that the expression level of glutamine synthetase (<i>Gls</i>), which is significantly correlated with ARHL (<i>n</i> = 26, <i>r</i> = -0.46, <i>p</i> = 0.0193), is a crucial regulator in glutamatergic synapse pathway and associated with learning and memory behavior. In this study, we present the first systematic evaluation of hippocampus gene expression pattern associated with ARHL, learning, and memory behavior. Our results provide novel potential molecular mechanisms involved in ARHL and cognitive dysfunction association.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) has been considered as a promising modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia. Nonetheless, it is still unclear whether age-related hearing loss associates with neurodegenerative biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Participants with ARHL were selected from the established Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. In multivariable models, the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of ARHL with CSF ?-amyloid (A?) and tau measurements, brain A? load, and cortical structural measures were explored. ARHL was associated with higher CSF levels of tau (p < 0.001) or ptau181 (p < 0.05) at baseline as well as faster elevation rates of these two types of biomarkers (p < 0.05). Although the baseline volume/thickness of hippocampus (p < 0.05) and entorhinal cortex (p < 0.0005) were higher in individuals with ARHL, these two regions (p < 0.01 for hippocampus, p < 0.05 for entorhinal cortex) displayed significantly accelerated atrophy in individuals with ARHL. No association of ARHL with CSF or brain A? levels was found. Subgroup analyses indicated that the above effects of ARHL were more significant in non-demented stage. Age-related hearing loss was associated with elevated cerebrospinal fluid tau levels and atrophy of entorhinal cortex.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Previous research has demonstrated an association of scores on a visual test of nonverbal reasoning, Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), with scores on open-set sentence recognition in quiet for adult cochlear implant (CI) users as well as for adults with normal hearing (NH) listening to noise-vocoded sentence materials. Moreover, in that study, CI users demonstrated poorer nonverbal reasoning when compared with NH peers. However, it remains unclear what underlying neurocognitive processes contributed to the association of nonverbal reasoning scores with sentence recognition, and to the poorer scores demonstrated by CI users. OBJECTIVES:Three hypotheses were tested: (1) nonverbal reasoning abilities of adult CI users and normal-hearing (NH) age-matched peers would be predicted by performance on more basic neurocognitive measures of working memory capacity, information-processing speed, inhibitory control, and concentration; (2) nonverbal reasoning would mediate the effects of more basic neurocognitive functions on sentence recognition in both groups; and (3) group differences in more basic neurocognitive functions would explain the group differences previously demonstrated in nonverbal reasoning. METHOD:Eighty-three participants (40 CI and 43 NH) underwent testing of sentence recognition using two sets of sentence materials: sentences produced by a single male talker (Harvard sentences) and high-variability sentences produced by multiple talkers (Perceptually Robust English Sentence Test Open-set, PRESTO). Participants also completed testing of nonverbal reasoning using a visual computerized RPM test, and additional neurocognitive assessments were collected using a visual Digit Span test and a Stroop Color-Word task. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to test our hypotheses while treating age as a covariate. RESULTS:In the CI group, information processing speed on the Stroop task predicted RPM performance, and RPM scores mediated the effects of information processing speed on sentence recognition abilities for both Harvard and PRESTO sentences. In contrast, for the NH group, Stroop inhibitory control predicted RPM performance, and a trend was seen towards RPM scores mediating the effects of inhibitory control on sentence recognition, but only for PRESTO sentences. Poorer RPM performance in CI users than NH controls could be partially attributed to slower information processing speed. CONCLUSIONS:Neurocognitive functions contributed differentially to nonverbal reasoning performance in CI users as compared with NH peers, and nonverbal reasoning appeared to partially mediate the effects of these different neurocognitive functions on sentence recognition in both groups, at least for PRESTO sentences. Slower information processing speed accounted for poorer nonverbal reasoning scores in CI users. Thus, it may be that prolonged auditory deprivation contributes to cognitive decline through slower information processing.