For speech and language to develop, an intact and active auditory system is of fundamental importance. The central auditory nervous system (CANS) can be hampered by several occurrences, including otitis media (OM) originating from inflammation in the middle ear and which is often associated with the accumulation of infected (or sometimes noninfected) fluid. OM can have a diffuse effect on cognitive and linguistic abilities, affecting both speech and phoneme perception through a failure to discriminate, store, and reproduce the acoustic contrasts necessary for comprehension. It is especially common in the first years of school. In addition, OM can generate internal noise from the presence of middle ear fluid near the cochlea, which can lead to changes in speech perception, distortion in acoustic images, and a reduction in the speed and accuracy of decoding speech. Evaluating the effectiveness of the CANS is recommended in cases where there have been repeated episodes of OM. Very useful information can be gained from behavioral and electrophysiological tests. The tests allow functional diagnoses to be made and can also reveal clinical and subclinical changes. In this way, they allow information to be collected, which can help in making a prognosis and planning intervention strategies.
Part of the book: The Human Auditory System
Electrophysiology is an objective evaluation method that allows investigating the responses of the central auditory nervous system arising from the capture of neuronal responses through surface electrodes. In addition to the possibility of investigating and diagnosing different pathologies, electrophysiology proves to be an effective and effective instrument in monitoring auditory intervention programs. Auditory rehabilitation programs is based on the premise of neuroplasticity that derives from a capacity for neuronal change due to intense sound stimulation, specific and directed to the patient’s needs. Throughout this chapter, current studies that correlate electrophysiology with auditory training programs in different clinical populations will be presented, such as: hearing in typically developed individuals, hearing and school difficulties, hearing and CAPD, hearing and otitis media, hearing and hearing loss, and hearing and voice. Electrophysiological tests are important objective measures in predicting the gains to be expected from auditory training programs.
Part of the book: Auditory System