Restoration of sensory input may improve cognitive and neural function

Hanin Karawani, Kimberly Jenkins, Samira Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-related hearing loss is one of the most prevalent health conditions among the elderly. Hearing loss may lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline in older adults. The mechanistic basis for the association between hearing loss and decreased cognitive function remains unknown as does the potential for improving cognition through hearing rehabilitation. To that end, we asked whether the restoration of sensory input through the use of hearing aids would improve cognitive and auditory neural function. We compared a group of first-time hearing aid users with a hearing-matched control group after a period of six months. The use of hearing aids enhanced working memory performance and increased cortical response amplitudes. Neurophysiologic changes correlated with working memory changes, suggesting a mechanism for decreased cognitive function with hearing loss. These results suggest a neural mechanism for the sensory-cognitive connection and underscore the importance of providing auditory rehabilitation for individuals with age-related hearing loss to improve cognitive and neural function. Our findings of improved cognitive function with hearing aid use may lead to increased adoption of hearing loss remedies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Amplification
  • Cortical auditory evoked potentials
  • Hearing aids
  • Hearing loss
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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