12/22/2009 - News

Hearing loss may affect memory

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD



Hearing loss may affect memory

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A study suggests that hearing loss may lead to difficulties in remembering spoken language.
Hearing loss can lead to depression and social isolation. Now researchers at Brandeis University in the USA suggest that it can also lead to cognitive difficulties. They tested a group of adults with good hearing and a group with mild to moderate hearing loss with a fifteen word list.

The participants were required to remember just the last three words. Both groups had excellent recall of the last word. But those in the hearing loss group showed poorer recall of the two preceding words. The researchers suggest that cognitive effort is 'used up' in trying to hear the words and there is not enough left to also remember them. One way around this might be to speak slowly with pauses to someone with hearing loss. This may allow them a little extra time to remember what is being said.


Current Directions in Psychological Science August 2005

Created on: 08/18/2005
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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