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.

The Way You Sound Affects Your Mood

Source: ScienceDaily

Researchers have created a digital audio platform that can modify the emotional tone of people's voices while they are talking, to make them sound happier, sadder or more fearful. New results show that while listening to their altered voices, participants' emotional state change in accordance with the new emotion.

Is Samsung Ready to Enter the Market?

Source: Audiology WorldNews

Rumours are strong once again that Samsung are about to unveil a line of Bluetooth hearing aids. In late December 2015, a device with model number SM-R790 appeared on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) database. The device description states Samsung Bluetooth hearing aid and it lists the device as an end product.

Humans Probably Not Alone in How We Perceive Melodic Pitch

Source: ScienceDaily

The specialized human ability to perceive the sound quality known as 'pitch' can no longer be listed as unique to humans. Researchers report new behavioral evidence that marmosets, ancient monkeys, appear to use auditory cues similar to humans to distinguish between low and high notes. The discovery infers that aspects of pitch perception may have evolved more than 40 million years ago to enable vocal communication and songlike vocalizations.

Gene Modification May Prevent Hereditary Hearing Loss, Study Finds

Source: The Hearing Review

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine found that, for a mitochondrial defect that leads to hereditary hearing loss, manipulation of an enzyme may delay or prevent hearing loss.

HIA Issues Formal Response to 2015 PCAST Report on Hearing Aids

Source: The Hearing Review

The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) has issued a formal response to the October report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The PCAST report to President Obama contained its recommendations relating to hearing aid technology and consumer hearing products.

Noise Exposure During Pregnancy and Hearing in Children

Source: Audiology Worldnews

A new cohort study has shown that noise exposure during pregnancy can damage the unborn child’s hearing, with an 80% increased risk in noisy occupational environments.

Toxic Secretions from Intracranial Tumor Damage the Inner Ear

Source: ScienceDaily

In some cases of vestibular schwannoma, a sometimes-lethal tumor often associated with neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), secretions from the tumor contain toxic molecules that damage the inner ear. The findings explain why some vestibular schwannomas cause hearing loss even though they are not large enough to compress nearby structures that control hearing.

Doctor Restores Patient’s Hearing with First Ever Prosthesis

Source: ScienceDaily

A new prosthesis for a traditional ear surgery is bringing hope to patients diagnosed with a hereditary disorder that causes hearing loss. After 63-year-old was diagnosed with otosclerosis in her thirties, she transitioned into an isolated world where conversations with other people became limited, everyday noises like car engines running and cell phones ringing became almost inaudible.

Emotion Processing in Brain Changes With Tinnitus Severity

Source: ScienceDaily

People with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information, new research indicates. Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears, affects nearly one-third of adults over age 65.

Why Focusing on a Visual Task Will Make Us Deaf to Our Surroundings

Source: ScienceDaily

Concentrating attention on a visual task can render you momentarily 'deaf' to sounds at normal levels, reports a new study. The research suggests that the senses of hearing and vision share a limited neural resource.