Short Stays in Darkness Can Boost Hearing, Study Shows

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Sound Wave, May 30, 2014.

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    1. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      So this begs the question, that has anybody with T tried this? I am serious. :) If this study is right, which makes sense at least to me, this could be a trial for somebody who is dedicated enough. Just stay in darkness for some days and see if your brain starts to remap -> hearing improves -> tinnitus goes away.

      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272262.php

      - - -

      Now, a new neuroscience study appears to support this - it found preventing sight for as little as a week may be enough to help the brain process sound more effectively.

      Writing in the journal Neuron, researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland describe how they explored the relationship between vision and hearing in the brains of mice.

      They found that connections in the part of the brain that controls vision and hearing work together to boost each sense, and they hope their findings will help people experiencing hearing loss to get some of it back.
       
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    2. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Very interesting! Hmm, I would actually be interested in doing something like this. You could very well go to a buddhist temple and ask to do a meditation retreat and ask the monks to take care of you for some time. This way you will get food en water without the need of seeing.

      I have always been a bit held back by my T do long meditation retreats like Vipassana where you would sit still (80 percent of the time) not speak for 10 days. I thought it the t would be to much to bear in such a situation.

      Also reminds me that when you fast the brain creates new neurological pathways that will make you `smarter` so you have better cognitive abilties to find food. Seems like refraining from 1 thing makes the brain become better something.
       
    3. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      It if funny...: modern science starts to discover that the brain is for more plastic than they assumed. Long lasting neuro plasticity can happen in a couple of days time, even in the adult brain!

      It just shows the power of the brain, and that if there is a way to control his plasticity......well imagine that...!

      I do think it is to easy to say that improved hearing equals tinnitus reduction.
       
    4. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      One could listen to music during the stay and mask the T. I think the point of this is to block vision, which boosts hearing. Using this as a meditation retreat etc is a great idea imho. Take one for the team @nills! ;)
       
    5. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      who knows this is the reason why alot of poeple experience the T to be more silent in the morning and comes back quit fast after waking up (opening the eyes!) .. My god they should start paying us for our scientific work here at TinnitusTalk! :)
       
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    6. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      ^I though about that too. Another contributing reason could be ketosis which can happen during the night, which increases GABA in the brain.

      Some willing individual could set up a quick crowdfunding project (Kickstarter, Indiegogo) to try this for 1-2 weeks if enough people would pay for it. I would pay a few bucks for this. :)
       
    7. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      I doubt the hearing will improve. The brain just turns up the volume. T would probably be louder
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      "... we show that visual deprivation leads to improved frequency selectivity as well as increased frequency and intensity discrimination performance" -> to me that is an improvement in hearing and not just brain turning up the volume.
       
    9. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      On a public service tv channel here there is an illusinist-manipulation program, where the host showed how having your eyes closed/visual impaired for 3 hours while being awake, gives you 'super hearing' :)
      Considering how one can alter your hearing/perception, whatever it is, so shortly it would be interesting testing out the claim of 3 days indeed.
      It also reminds me of dolphins, bats and some blind people's ability to localise with echo sounds. For the human that certainly isn't withborn
       
    10. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      It is know that people whom are born deaf do not develop a normal auditory cortex. Their brain uses this capacity to process visual information.

      Even if they get some kind of perfect bionic ear they will probably never be able to hear normally.

      try this at home: Go sit in the dark (in a silent rome). Use an mp3 player (or something else) to make a very low intensity sound that does not directly compete with your tinnitus. Focus your attention on this very low intensity sound, after a while you will notice that your ability to hear it has gone up! (and your tinnitus might go down, it does for me!).

      I am a strong believer that attention and fear are at least partly responsible for maintaining the neural pathways of tinnitus.....

      This study just proves to my that the brain is highly plastic, probably beyond our wildest dreams. Controlling this is going to be a bitch....

      Staying in the dark might make your tinnitus much worse....how know. By lack of input your brain just starts to enhance it's own generated signal. Why does this happen to us and not to other? maybe that is the better question. Why do most people not develop tinnitus.

      What mechanism is driving the plastic changes in these animals and why is it reversible?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      This is how I typically pick up women, by hiding in the dark so they can't see my face. My hearing becomes like sonar, and I try communicating with them by clicks and whistles. Needless to say, it doesn't work out well.
       
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    12. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      At some point the hard work will pay off Hudson, the darkness will start to click and whistle back and it'll get really weird. (y)
       
      • Funny Funny x 1

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