Research findings from Dr. Elizabeth Olson and Dr. Wei Dong of Columbia University could lead to advances in hearing aid technology. This research sheds new light on how the ear processes and amplifies what it hears. Tiny hair cells within the ear "move" when they receive auditory stimuli. How and when the hair cells "move" ultimately transmits frequency-specific information to the brain. Today's hearing aids currently send auditory stimuli to the entire hearing organ of the ear (cochlea) and cannot replicate how a healthy ear works with the brain to amplify sound. However, researchers hope these new findings will eventually lead to advanced hearing instruments that more naturally amplify sound in line with the ear's hearing abilities.
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