It’s time for the new perspective in BrainHearing

Oticon has always taken the approach of developing hearing aids that support the brain in how it makes sense of sound. At Oticon we walk a certain path—we support the brain in making sense of sound. Rather than only focusing on the ears, we think brain first. It’s a journey of constant discovery—one that we’ve followed for decades—where we explore brain-related territories in audiology. We call this unique thinking BrainHearing.

The latest scientific breakthrough shows the brain can handle access to more information from the full sound scene. We need to give the brain more from its surroundings. This breakthrough defines our next step forward—one that will put our vision at the forefront of hearing care and turn the new perspective in BrainHearing into a reality.

Brain Hearing Technology

The brain’s hearing center comprises two subsystems

Two subsystems work together inside the brain to help the brain make sense of sound: the orient subsystem and the focus subsystem.

Brain Hearing Technology

Orient subsystem

The orient subsystem always comes first. When we hear, it scans all surrounding sounds – no matter their nature or direction – to create a full perspective of the sound scene. It then creates an overview of the sound objects around us.

Focus subsystem

The focus subsystem helps people select which sounds to listen to. Once we have an overview of the sound objects around us, we use the focus subsystem to identify the sound we want to focus on, listen to or switch attention to, while filtering out irrelevant sounds.

A good neural code is key to making sense of sound

When sounds reach the inner ear, they are converted into a signal that is sent to the brain. This is what we call the neural code which is sent via the auditory nerve to the brain’s hearing center—the auditory cortex. There, these neural codes become meaningful sound objects, which the orient and focus subsystems can use.

Brain Hearing Technology

Orient subsystem

Needs a good neural code to create an overview of the sound objects and begin separating sounds to determine what is going on in the surroundings. This provides the brain with the best conditions to decide what to focus on and listen to.

Focus subsystem

Navigates through the full perspective of the sound scene. It identifies the sound it wants to focus on, listen to or switch attention to, and irrelevant sounds are filtered out.

A hearing problem can become brain problems

Downgrading sound input to the brain and failing to treat the hearing loss in the correct way can have a variety of consequences.

  • Increased listening effort - With less sound information, it’s harder for the brain to recognize sounds. It has to fill in the gaps, which requires more listening effort.
  • Increased mental load - Having to guess what people are saying and what’s happening increases the mental load on the brain and leaves less mental capacity for remembering and performing.
  • Reorganized brain functionality - Without enough stimulation in the hearing center, the visual center and other senses start to compensate, which changes the function of the brain.
  • Accelerated cognitive decline - Increased mental load, lack of stimulation and reorganized brain functionality is linked to accelerated cognitive decline, which affects the ability to remember, learn, concentrate, and make decisions.
  • Accelerated brain volume shrinkage - All human brains reduce in size with age, but the shrinkage process accelerates when the brain has to work against the natural way it processes sound.

And so, the brain problems can turn into life problems

A limited sound scene without access to the right input can lead to serious problems in life.

  • Social isolation and depression - People with untreated hearing loss can end up avoiding social gatherings because they’re unable to cope with complex sound environments.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease - The risk for dementia increases five-fold for severe-to-profound hearing loss, three-fold for moderate hearing loss and two-fold for mild hearing loss.
  • Poor balance and fall-related injuries - Untreated hearing loss can affect balance, increasing the risk of fall-related injuries three-fold.
  • Risk of dementia - The risk for dementia with untreated hearing loss is increased five-fold for severe-to-profound hearing loss, three-fold for moderate hearing loss and two-fold for mild hearing loss.

Oticon More hearing aids

Time to get more out of life! Oticon More is the hearing aid with built-in intelligence to make more sense of sound. Oticon More gives your brain the clearest sound information, allowing you to hear sounds that shouldn’t be missed. You benefit with improved speech understanding with less listening effort and the ability to remember more.

More clarity. More hearing. More life

The Oticon More family is continuing to expand with more choices so more people can benefit from its superior sound quality. Oticon More works more like how the brain works, because it learned through experience.

The world’s first hearing aid with an on-board DNN, Oticon More delivers 30% more sound to the brain and increases speech understanding by 15%.

Get ready for even more:

  • New miniRITE T style for those who prefer disposable batteries
  • New easy-to-use portable SmartCharger gives patients freedom when they are on the go
  • New rechargeable Oticon CROS PX transmitter for patients with single‑sided deafness
  • New Oticon MyMusic program tailor-made to deliver excellent music performance
Oticon More

Want to learn more?

To learn more about Brain Hearing Technology, call today (716) 633-2137 or request a callback.

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Hearing problems or problems with your ears?

Contact your neighborhood hearing professional for a full hearing evaluation or to discuss your hearing health and the best way to treat your hearing loss.

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