Hearing and Vision: Q&A

With so many hearing trends, developments, and research worth sharing and such great questions from our patients about hearing health, we feel it’s our obligation as the community’s only AudigyCertified™ practice to keep you informed about news you can use to make educated decisions about your hearing care. Let’s talk hearing and vision.

Q: Both hearing and sight are important to me, but does one have any effect on the other?

A: It’s no secret that hearing and vision play a huge part in connecting individuals to the people, places, and experiences that mean the most, but many may not realize how closely these senses collaborate.

Hearing actually enhances the sense of sight, according to a UCLA study, with both working as a team to help people perceive and participate in the world around them.

In the study, researchers exploring how senses can affect each other ran participants through a series of trials requiring them to correctly identify the phase in which dots moved horizontally together — versus randomly — on a screen.

Though the trials involved various uses of sound — with audio traveling in the same direction as the dots, moving in the opposite direction, or remaining stationary — participants had the greatest success when the audio moved in the same direction as the horizontally traveling dots but stayed stationary amid the random movement. In other words, hearing the direction in which the dots were collectively traveling enhanced participants’ ability to see the direction of the movement.

“This study shows that at least in regards to perception of moving objects, hearing and sight are deeply intertwined,” said senior study author and then-UCLA associate professor of psychology Ladan Shams in an online UCLA story. “Even when sound is completely irrelevant to the task, it still influences the way we see the world.”

Yet another reason to keep your hearing — just like your vision — at its best!

Do you have questions about hearing health, hearing technology, tinnitus, or balance issues? Our caring experts are here to help, including answering your questions or addressing any concerns. Contact us today!

 

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