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Behavioral and Hemodynamic Changes Following Dichotic Training in Patients with Neurological Deficits of the Auditory Nervous System: A Case SeriesFunding This investigation was supported by funding through Royal Arch Research Assistance.
Background Dichotic listening occurs when one attends to different acoustical messages presented simultaneously to both ears. This is important for understanding speech in compromised listening situations, such as background noise. Deficits in dichotic listening can be remediated by participating in auditory training. We present two patients with binaural integration deficits who underwent dichotic interaural intensity difference (DIID) training.
Purpose The purpose of this investigation is to demonstrate improvement of dichotic listening deficits following DIID training in neurological patients seen clinically for hearing issues.
Research Design This was a case series utilizing a pre- and posttreatment design.
Study Sample This case series utilized two female participants who demonstrated binaural integration deficits during an auditory processing evaluation.
Intervention The participants underwent a pretraining auditory processing evaluation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants then underwent 12, 30-minute DIID training sessions followed by posttreatment auditory processing evaluations and fMRI.
Data Collection and Analysis Data was collected at the pretreatment appointment and then immediately following the completion of the training.
Results Each patient demonstrated varying degrees of improvement on the posttreatment assessment. Case 1 showed significant improvement on the Speech-in-Noise-Revised (SPIN-R) test. fMRI showed changes in activation patterns following training. Case 2 demonstrated improved scores on the Dichotic Digits Test and SPIN-R and increased activation of the calcarine sulcus following training.
Conclusion Dichotic training can be an efficacious treatment for binaural integration deficits and may show evidence of improving speech understanding in noise. This case series demonstrates a promising therapy to help patients improve auditory function by improving dichotic listening skills.
Keywordsauditory processing disorder - Dichotic Digits Test - dichotic listening - auditory training - dichotic interaural intensity difference training
Received: 28 May 2019
Accepted: 21 May 2020
04 March 2021 (online)
© 2021. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
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