Deaf hearing: Implicit discrimination of auditory content in a patient with mixed hearing loss

Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow, Morten Overgaard, Bennett L. Schwartz, Cengiz Zopluoglu, Steffie Tomson, Janina Neufed, Christopher Sinke, Christopher Owen, David Eagleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a patient LS, profoundly deaf in both ears from birth, with underdeveloped superior temporal gyri. Without hearing aids, LS displays no ability to detect sounds below a fixed threshold of 60 dBs, which classifies him as clinically deaf. Under these no-hearing-aid conditions, when presented with a forced-choice paradigm in which he is asked to consciously respond, he is unable to make above-chance judgments about the presence or location of sounds. However, he is able to make above-chance judgments about the content of sounds presented to him under forced-choice conditions. We demonstrated that LS has faint sensations from auditory stimuli, but questionable awareness of auditory content. LS thus has a form of type-2 deaf hearing with respect to auditory content. As in the case of a subject with acquired deafness and deaf hearing reported on a previous occasion, LS’s condition of deaf hearing is akin in some respects to type-2 blindsight. As for the case of type 2 blindsight the case indicates that a form of conscious hearing can arise in the absence of a fully developed auditory cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-43
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Volume30
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2017

Keywords

  • Auditory awareness
  • audition-for-action
  • audition-for-perception
  • cortical deafness
  • mixed hearing loss
  • perceptual awareness scale
  • perceptual content
  • type-2 blindsight
  • type-2 deaf hearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Philosophy

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