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Masking level difference: analysis of binaural interaction mechanism in musicians with normal hearing

Grant number: 17/22313-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Maria Isabel Ramos Do Amaral
Grantee:Luise Lazaretti Froldi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Introduction: Central Auditory Processing (CAP) refers to the ability to analyze, classify, organize and interpret auditory information. For CAP occur properly, several mechanisms are necessary along the auditory pathway, from the brainstem to the cortex. In the present study, it is highlighted the binaural interaction mechanism, which is responsible for the analysis of acoustic cues arising from both ears simultaneously, resulting in lateralization and sound localization skills. Masking Level Difference (MLD) has been singled out as an important behavioral test of auditory processing assessment, related to such skills and still not often used in clinical practice. It is known that musical experience allows structural and functional changes in the fine processing of acoustic signals and can improve specific auditory abilities. Aim: analyze the influence of musical practice regarding to binaural interaction skills using the results found in MLD applied in musicians with normal hearing compared to controls. Mehtods: individuals of both genders will be evaluated, aged between 18 to 60 years, without auditory complaints and / or otological history, divided into two groups: group I (study) will be composed of 50 subjects with training and musical practice, and group II (control) by 50 subjects without training and / or musical practice, matched by gender and age. In both groups, procedures will be: anamnesis, meatocoscopy, immitanciometry, audiometry, logoaudiometry, dichotic digit test and MLD. Results: it is expected that the present study demonstrates a better performance of the group of musicians in comparison to the control, favoring the understanding about the influence of the musical practice on the auditory abilities and about the mechanism of binaural interaction through the MLD test. It is also expected that the present study will contribute to the reference values of the test applied in adults. (AU)

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