Following are a selection of interesting news items from our field. This section will be updated on a continuous basis so check back often in between issues, to see what is new.

MRI Can Be Painful, Disruptive for People with Cochlear Implants (HealthDay)

Source: Health Day

Researchers in South Korea tracked the medical records of 18 individuals with cochlear implants who had MRIs between 2003 and 2014, and found that some people experience pain and discomfort that prevents them from being able to complete the scan. Additionally, the MRI scanner could interfere with a cochlear implant’s internal magnet, indicating that patients must be fully aware of the potential risks of an MRI before undergoing a scan.

Toys That Could Damage Your Child’s Hearing (UC Irvine Health)

Source: UC Irvine

Otolaryngologist Dr. Hamid Djalilian and a team of researchers tested a number of popular toys to determine which ones could damage a child’s hearing. They created a chart with each toy’s decibel level and suggest putting tape over the speaker or volume control to lessen the sound or prevent a child from being able to turn the volume up to an unsafe level.

Word Learning Better in Deaf Children Who Receive Cochlear Implants by Age 13 Months

Source: Indiana University School of Medicine

Learning words may be facilitated by early exposure to auditory input, according to research presented by the Indiana University School of Medicine at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in San Diego, Feb. 18-22.
A growing body of evidence points to the importance of early auditory input for developing language skills. Indiana University Department of Otolaryngology researchers have contributed to that evidence with several projects, including their study involving 20 deaf children (22- to 40-months-old and 12 to 18 months after cochlear implantation) and 20 normal hearing children (12- to 40-months of age) that was presented Feb. 21 at the AAAS meeting.

Children with Cochlear Implants Appear to Achieve Similar Educational and Employment Levels as Peers

Source: Science Daily

Deaf children who receive cochlear implants appear more likely to fail early grades in school, but they ultimately achieve educational and employment levels similar to their normal-hearing peers, ...full story

Newborn Hearing Screening Linked With Improved Developmental Outcomes for Hearing Impaired Children

Source: The JAMA Network

Children with permanent hearing impairment who received hearing screening as newborns had better general and language developmental outcomes and quality of life at ages 3 to 5 years compared to newborns who received hearing screening through behavioral testing, according to a new study.

Deaf Adults See Better Than Hearing People, New Study Finds

Source: University of Sheffield

Adults born deaf react more quickly to objects at the edge of their visual field than hearing people, according to groundbreaking new research. The study, which was funded by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), has, for the first time ever, seen scientists test how peripheral vision develops in deaf people from childhood to adulthood.

Brain Anatomy Differences Between Deaf, Hearing Depend on First Language Learned

Source: Georgetown University

In the first known study of its kind, researchers have shown that the language we learn as children affects brain structure, as does hearing status. While research has shown that people who are deaf and hearing differ in brain anatomy, these studies have been limited to studies of individuals who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) from birth. But 95 percent of the deaf population in America is born to hearing parents and use English or another spoken language as their first language, usually through lip-reading. Since both language and audition are housed in nearby locations in the brain, understanding which differences are attributed to hearing and which to language is critical in understanding the mechanisms by which experience shapes the brain.

Diagnosing Deafness Early Will Help Teenagers’ Reading Development

Source: University of Southampton

Deaf teenagers have better reading skills if they were identified as deaf by the time they were nine months old, research has shown. The research team has been studying the development of a group of children who were identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) at a very early age. Follow up assessments when the children were aged eight showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not screened.

Dogs Hear Our Words and How We Say Them

Source: Cell Press News

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.

Breaking News!

We lost the Mother of Pediatric Audiology

David Kirkwood gives tribute to Marion Downs who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 100. Please read here how she touched so many lives.