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Author: admin | 27.03.2016 | Category: Ear Drops For Tinnitus

Here we go again - yet another dissection of the misuse of science to make an ideological point about sex differences.
Here we go again -- yet another dissection of the misuse of science to make an ideological point about sex differences. We're back with Leonard Sax's book, "Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences".
This post presents another example of the disconnect between Sax's rhetoric and Sax's science. The difference in how girls and boys hear also has major implications for how you should talk to your children. The question is, how much impairment is there, and what does it mean for perceived loudness levels in speech? Let's zero in on the slices of this table for the age ranges that Sax has chosen, which are 18- to 24-year-old females and 43- to 49-year-old males. The two values that Sax has chosen, indicated in red in the table above, compare the left ears at 3 kHz. Whatever value we choose to represent the difference in thresholds, what does it mean about loudness perception?
The subjective dimension of loudness is measured in sones, where 1 sone is the perceived loudness of a pure tone of 1 KHz at 40 dB, and a doubling of subjective loudness is matched by a doubling of the loudness measure in sones. I've added vertical lines at sound levels of 40 dB and 60 dB, which correspond to the range of sound levels encountered in normal conversation.
Amid all this detail about the psychophysics of hearing, let's not lose sight of the point. I've stuck in a central column with the male-female differences in dB -- and I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to look at the loudness-function plot given above, so as to verify that at classroom sound levels of 60-80 dB, the predicted average difference in female and male students' perceived loudness due to these average threshold differences will be around the thickness of the plotted black lines, if not less. Sensory presbycusis: This refers to epithelial atrophy with loss of sensory hair cells and supporting cells in the organ of Corti. Mechanical (ie, cochlear conductive) presbycusis: This condition results from thickening and secondary stiffening of the basilar membrane of the cochlea. The rest of my answer is based on this book, some parts of which exist online (which I'll quote). As you can see from the graph, severity of age-related hearing loss depends on sound frequency: older people need high-pitched sounds to be displayed more loudly, in order to hear them. It's not described much on the website, but the book explains that there is a relationship between how loud a sound has to be to harm you, and which frequency it is. Here's a plot of the connection between loudness and frequency in auditory perception, in which you can see that sounds around 4kHz can most easily harm us. Does this explain that when I was younger, I was more sensitive to sound and slept less well? Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged medical-science or ask your own question. Is it possible to improve brute-force guessing of a password with a picture of the keyboard used to enter it? If you suspect that your hearing isn’t quite what it used to be, here is a simple self-assessment you can take at home. Do you have trouble following the conversation with two or more people talking at the same time?
If you're bored with this stuff, you can read the rest of this post for its information about the psychophysics of hearing, or for tips about how to concoct an effective argument by misrepresenting unrepresentative numbers.

Sax has both a PhD and an MD, and he supports his position with extensive citations of results from neuroscience, psychophysics, cognitive psychology, social psychology and related areas. Actually, the girl is going to experience her father's voice as being more than 100 times louder in amplitude than what the father himself is experiencing. I'm going to focus on three of them: selection of unrepresentative values, misleading interpretation of values, and misleading transfer of results from one context to another. Corso, "Age and Sex Differences in Pure-Tone Thresholds", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 31(4), pp.
He also showed that "[f]or both men and women, there is a decrease in average hearing sensitivity with increasing age, and a progressive spreading of the loss from the higher to the lower frequencies.
The threshold measure tells us about the level of the softest sound that you can hear -- how does this apply to your perception of relative loudness at moderate or higher sound levels? Even if we accept Sax's misleading selection of threshold values, the predicted difference in perceived loudness for the sound of an animated conversation would be about 1.4 to 1, not 10 to 1, much less 100 to 1. In general, the slope of the function relating objective sound level to perceived loudness is less than one, so that if you double the objective sound level (in dB), the perceived loudness (in sones) is less than doubled. If we get up into the 80 dB range of serious yelling, the difference of perceptions will have narrowed almost to nothing. Instead, it would be a difference of about 1.4-to-1 for moderately loud conversation, and progressively less as the sound intensity increases.
Characteristically, presbycusis involves bilateral high-frequency hearing loss associated with difficulty in speech discrimination and central auditory processing of information.
This process originates in the basal turn of the cochlea and slowly progresses toward the apex. The thickening is more severe in the basal turn of the cochlea where the basilar membrane is narrow. The question is being unable to hear ranges as we get older, starting from childhood, while presbycusis is specific to post middle-aged people.
Sounds that are near our auditory thresholds (under 20 Hz and above 20.000 Hz in the normal, healthy hearing range) can't harm us even if they are extremely loud. Jobs where loud noise is a regular part of the working environment, such as farming, construction or factory work, can lead to damage inside your ear. Exposure to explosive noises, such as from firearms and fireworks, can cause immediate, permanent hearing loss.
Drugs, such as the antibiotic gentamicin and certain chemotherapy drugs, can damage the inner ear. Diseases or illnesses that result in high fever, such as meningitis, may damage the cochlea. If you answer yes to more than two of the following questions, you should have your hearing evaluated further by a health-care professional. However, when I've followed up on the research mentioned in his text or cited in his end-notes, I've been shocked by the deep disconnect between the actual content of the research and the rhetorical use that Sax makes of it. In the argument we're going to discuss, Sax picks two unrepresentative numbers (from a set of 144 numbers in a published table) so as to exaggerate the point he wants to make. A more reasonable solution would be to weight the whole range of frequency and ear differences according to their likely contribution to the perception of loudness in speech. If we take the (more reasonable) estimate of a 5 to 10 dB difference instead of the unrepresentative 20-dB difference that Sax picks, the predicted difference in perceived loudness would be much smaller.
If we re-do the calculation based on the overall amplitude spectrum of speech and the range of threshold values given in Corso's tables (which will result in a difference that is more like 5-10 dB rather than 20+ dB), the predicted difference in loudness perception will be negligible.

These changes correlate with a precipitous drop in the high-frequency thresholds, which begins after middle age. This correlates with a gradually sloping high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss that is slowly progressive.
The wiki page does refer to the issue as presbycusis, yet every reliable source on presbycusis lists it as being limited to post middle-aged people. We don't hear them because they cause no mechanical change in our ear that responds to those frequencies, and consequently no harm is done.
Other recreational activities with dangerously high noise levels include snowmobiling, motorcycling or listening to loud music.
Although I'm sympathetic to Sax's goals, this carelessness (or worse) leaves me worried about the competence and effectiveness of his movement's educational prescriptions. Then he claims that his selected numbers imply a difference of 10 to 1 or 100 to 1, whereas they actually imply a difference of about 1.4 to 1 on the relevant scale. Corso measured how loud tones of different frequencies had to be for subjects to hear them, across a range of frequencies from 250 Hz to 8,000 Hz.
As a result, elevated hearing thresholds (including those routinely associated with aging) cause a relative compression of perceived loudness levels, which increases with increasing sound levels.. And given how careless Sax is about interpreting his references on the psychophysics and neuroscience of hearing, I don't have much confidence that he has good evidence for sex differences in the educational effects of classroom noise. The abrupt downward slope of the audiogram begins above the speech frequencies; therefore, speech discrimination is often preserved.
It seems the wiki page is the only source referring to range of audible frequencies in young people as presbycusis?
In the case of age-related hearing loss, the hair cells in the inner ear that should respond to high-frequency sounds, have already stopped responding, so there is nothing left to harm.
Personal music players, such as MP3 players, can cause lasting hearing loss if you turn the volume up high enough to mask the sound of other loud noises, such as those from a lawn mower. A difference of 23.2 dB corresponds to more than a hundred-fold difference in the amplitude of the sound. He tested a large number of males and females of different ages from the students, faculty and staff at Penn State.
Histologically, the atrophy may be limited to only the first few millimeters of the basal end of the cochlea. He presents the results in multiple tables of values, providing means and standard deviations of thresholds for different ears of subjects of different ages and sexes, for sounds of different frequencies. Sax doesn't provide any scientific evidence to support his assertions about this -- or rather, the evidence that he cites is irrelevant or interpreted backwards. One theory proposes that these changes are due to the accumulation of lipofuscin pigment granules.
But let's take a look at the most relevant comparison in his paper, namely the sex difference in hearing thresholds for 18-24-year-olds.

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