Noise and the Brain - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124159945, 9780123914316

Noise and the Brain

1st Edition

Experience Dependent Developmental and Adult Plasticity

Authors: Jos Eggermont
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124159945
eBook ISBN: 9780123914316
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 30th October 2013
Page Count: 392
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In our industrialized world, we are surrounded by occupational, recreational, and environmental noise. Very loud noise damages the inner-ear receptors and results in hearing loss, subsequent problems with communication in the presence of background noise, and, potentially, social isolation. There is much less public knowledge about the noise exposure that produces only temporary hearing loss but that in the long term results in hearing problems due to the damage of high-threshold auditory nerve fibers. Early exposures of this kind, such as in neonatal intensive care units, manifest themselves at a later age, sometimes as hearing loss but more often as an auditory processing disorder. There is even less awareness about changes in the auditory brain caused by repetitive daily exposure to the same type of low-level occupational or musical sound. This low-level, but continuous, environmental noise exposure is well known to affect speech understanding, produce non-auditory problems ranging from annoyance and depression to hypertension, and to cause cognitive difficulties. Additionally, internal noise, such as tinnitus, has effects on the brain similar to low-level external noise.

Noise and the Brain discusses and provides a synthesis of hte underlying brain mechanisms as well as potential ways to prvent or alleviate these aberrant brain changes caused by noise exposure.

Key Features

  • Authored by one of the preeminent leaders in the field of hearing research
  • Emphasizes direct and indirect changes in brain function as a result of noise exposure
  • Provides a comprehensive and evidence-based approach
  • Addresses both developmental and adult plasticity
  • Includes coverage of epidemiology, etiology, and genetics of hearing problems; effects of non-damaging sound on both the developing and adult brain; non-auditory effects of noise; noise and the aging brain; and more


Auditory neuroscientists; secondary market among psychologists, otologists, and audiologists

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Discovery of Noise as a Cause of Hearing Loss

1.2 Experimental Studies in Animals and the Establishment of the Neural Substrates of Hearing

1.3 Towards the Estimation of Exposure Levels not Causing Permanent Hearing Loss

1.4 Towards Legal Limits of Occupational Noise Exposure Levels

1.5 The Surging Manifestation of Recreational Noise

1.6 The Emergence of Noise Annoyance

1.7 Long-Term Exposure to Sound at Levels Well below the Legal Limits Causes Changes in the Central Auditory System

1.8 The Need to Move beyond Threshold Audiometry as an Indicator of Safe Exposure Levels

1.9 Prevention as the Best Solution


Chapter 2. Epidemiology, Etiology and Genetics of Hearing Problems

2.1 Epidemiology and Etiology

2.2 Genetic Basis of NIHL

2.3 Summary


Chapter 3. Neural Substrates of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

3.1 Structural Changes in the Auditory System Following Noise Trauma

3.2 Behavioral and Neural Changes

3.3 Molecular Changes

3.4 Summary


Chapter 4. Effects of Nondamaging Sound on the Developing Brain

4.1 Animal Studies

4.2 Human Studies

4.3 Effects of Noise on School-Age Children

4.4 Music and Music Training

4.5 Detection of Affected Brains

4.6 Summary


Chapter 5. Effects of Deafness on the Young Brain

5.1 Overview

5.2 Newborn Hearing Screening

5.3 Effects of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

5.4 Conductive Hearing Loss

5.5 Effects of Cochlear Implantation

5.6 Performance in Early and Late Implanted Children

5.7 Summary


Chapter 6. Speech Understanding in Noise

6.1 Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Speech Perception: Role of Age

6.2 Adult Hearing in Noise

6.3 Aging and Speech Perception

6.4 Electrophysiology and Imaging

6.5 Summary


Chapter 7. Effects of “Nondamaging Sound” on the Adult Auditory Brain

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Auditory Plasticity in Human Adults

7.3 Animal Studies of Adult Auditory Plasticity

7.4 Brain Changes Following Long-Term Exposure to “Safe” Noise Levels

7.5 Putative Mechanisms and Implications for Clinical Audiology

7.6 Summary


Chapter 8. Noise and the Aging Brain

8.1 Causes of Aging

8.2 Age-Related Hearing Impairment and Presbycusis

8.3 Animal Models for Age-Related Hearing Impairment

8.4 Neural Transmitter and Receptor Changes with Age

8.5 Genetics of Presbycusis

8.6 Psychological Aspects

8.7 Comparison of ARHI with NIHL

8.8 Summary


Chapter 9. Music and the Brain

9.1 The “Good” Aspects of Music

9.2 Music and Language

9.3 The “Bad” Aspects of Music

9.4 Benefit of Music after All?

9.5 Summary


Chapter 10. Nonauditory Effects of Noise

10.1 Annoyance

10.2 Stress

10.3 Sleep

10.4 Cardiovascular Effects

10.5 What Causes the Nonauditory Effects of Noise?

10.6 Summary


Chapter 11. Noise in the Brain

11.1 Phantom Sounds

11.2 Relationship to NIHL and ARHI

11.3 Where in the Brain is Tinnitus?

11.4 Listening to Tinnitus

11.5 Nonauditory Effects of Tinnitus

11.6 Similarities of Tinnitus and Environmental Sound Effects on the Brain

11.7 Summary


Chapter 12. Protection Against Noise-Induced Brain Changes: Are there Safe Noise Levels?

12.1 Drug-Based Protection

12.2 Sound-Based Protection

12.3 The Role of the Olivocochlear Bundle in Protection

12.4 Short Duration Stress Protects

12.5 Hormonal Factors

12.6 Delaying Age-Related Hearing Loss

12.7 Earlier Diagnosis to Reduce the Impact

12.8 Hearing Protection Devices

12.9 Changing the Attitudes about Noise

12.10 Introducing New Legal Standards?

12.11 Summary




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About the Author

Jos Eggermont

Dr. Jos J. Eggermont is an Emeritus Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Psychology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Eggermont is one of the most renowned scientists in the field of the auditory system and his work has contributed substantially to the current knowledge about hearing loss. His research comprises most aspects of audition with an emphasis on the electrophysiology of the auditory system in experimental animals. He has published over 200 scientific articles, authored/edited 8 books, and contributed to over 90 book chapters all focusing on the auditory system.

Affiliations and Expertise

Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Psychology, University of Calgary, Canada