#HearingFactFriday: MRIs show hearing loss has an effect on the brain

You’ve probably heard or read it before — we “hear” with our brain, not our ears. Sure, technically it’s a combination of both, but unless the brain processes sounds correctly (distinguishing, say, a human voice from a bird chirp), then the sounds around us aren't meaningful and, in a sense, just noise.

It’s not surprising then, that researchers from Brandeis University and Washington University in St. Louis, MO, noticed that the brain structure of people with hearing loss displayed an abnormality. Using MRIs, they discovered the region of the brain used to comprehend speech had less gray matter in people with hearing loss. Gray matter serves to process information in the brain. 

The researchers hypothesized it was caused by reduced sensory stimulation, which caused areas of the brain to reorganize activity. 

To see more about how brain health and hearing loss are connected, watch the video here.  


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By Starkey Hearing