All o these descrptons and dentons look ataudtor hpersenstvt as a problem wth behavor(percepton) and not wth hearng. As thesedentons ndcate, the phenomenon we reer to asaudtor hpersenstvt s not a problem wth theaudtor sstem beng hpersenstve but wth theperson beng hpersenstve to sounds. We wll takeup the topc o wh a person becomes overl senstveto sound though the hearng or audtor sstem sunctonng perectl normall as we proceed.
can be descrbed as senstvt to sounds.Better stated, t s our ablt to recognze that a sound has entered our ears and traveled to our brans where the sound s “heard” or regstered as present.Tus, hearng s the recognton o the presenceo a sound. Ts recognton does not mean weunderstand the meanng o the sound nor does tndcate that we have an percepton o the sound.
s our cogntve ablt to gve
to a sound. in contrast to hearng, whch s justthe awareness o the presence o sound, when weperceve a sound, we make a cogntve decson asto what that sound means. Consder the ollowngexample. you are sttng at home and ou suddenl hear a rappng sound. it comes as “tap, tap, tap,” wththree taps or bangs that are o the same exact ptchor requenc, o the same loudness or ntenst,each lastng the same length o tme wth the sameshort gap o quet between each o the taps. youraudtor sstem merel hears these sounds andnotes the pattern o sounds. However, when oureact to the sounds, get up, go to the door, ask whos there, and open the door, our cogntve decsonmakng sstem has taken that audtor pattern andmade sense out o t. Recognzng that the “tap, tap,tap” s a unque pattern that ou have heard beore, ou perceve that ou have a memor trace or thspattern. Tat memor trace leads ou to know what the pattern means. you even have a name ort, callng t “knockng on the door,” and ou havea mental mage that when ths pattern occurs, oushould respond b seeng who s at the door. Tspercepton occurs through a seres o processes wereer to as
processing in audiTory hypersensiTiviTy
Consder that ou are a lttle chld, and ou hearcertan sounds. your
make thedecson that the sounds are rghtenng, annong,and ver loud. What do ou do? you ma cr, runawa, hde, or merel tremble n ear. Ts ma be a normal response n a ver oung chld. Terghtenng sound strkes our cogntve sstem, and ou react n a negatve emotonal wa. What happensnext could be that the memor o ths rghtenngsound s stored so that the pattern o sound, whenheard, s agan perceved as a rghtenng sound. youma react wth ear not onl toward the sound butalso toward the stuaton n whch the sound occursand the thng makng the sound. Over tme, just asPavlov’s dogs began to salvate at the sound o thebell wthout ood beng present, the rghtenngsound tsel ma no longer be needed to elct thenegatve emotonal memor assocated wth thesound. Te stuaton or thng that made the soundalso can set o our ear responses. Eventuall,somethng called generalzaton occurs so thatsmlar stuatons or objects smlar to the onesthat made the orgnal rghtenng sound also wllelct the negatve emotonal reactons. Ts s how an ntal audtor-based hpersenstvt becomesa more general hpersenstvt to sound and thestuatons n whch the sound occurs.Audtor processng nvolves at least sxntegrated sstems.
Tese sstems nclude:
Te audtor sstem tsel
Te cogntve decson makng sstem
Memor (ncludng emotonal memor)
Te emotonal sstem
Sensor regulaton sstemsOver tme, the audtor sstem tsel ma not bethat mportant n the processng o loud sounds,and we ma nstead draw on the other sstems.Tat s, we ma
that a sound wll be loud andrghtenng (cogntve decson makng sstem); we ma
the wa the orgnal sound scaredus (memor); we ma want to avod sounds andthe stuatons n whch these rghtenng soundsoccurred (emotonal sstem); or we ma have anautonomc nervous sstem reacton, whch tpcall nvolves what are called
fght or ight
responses. Forexample, n antcpaton o the rghtenng sound, we ma lose control o our behavor and tr torun awa (ght); we ma put up a strong, negatve
Hearng s the recognton o the presence o a sound. Ts recognton does notmean we understand the meanng o the sound nor does t ndcate that we have an percepton o the sound.
s our cogntve ablt to gve
to a sound.in contrast to hearng, whch s just the awareness o the presence o sound, when weperceve a sound, we make a cogntve decson as to what that sound means.
emotonal ght to avod the sounds (ght); or wema retreat nto ourselves seekng to calm ourselvesthrough behavors such as rockng or runnngaround n a crcle (another tpe o ght response).Tus, a hpersenstve reacton can occur nantcpaton o a sound, even the sound tsel sabsent. Tese reactons can also occur when wehear a sof, nonthreatenng sound our processngsstem persuades us that the stuaton or sound sor wll be the same as a prevousl heard sound. inths wa, we can enter nto automatc, negatve, andemotonall reactve behavors and maladaptveresponses. Tese maladaptve responses arebehavoral reactons that result rom our ear o a sound and our ear that the sound ma occur wthout warnng. Behavors are consdered maladaptveand napproprate when the perpetuate oreven strengthen the chld’s ear. For example,some chldren demand to be removed rom oravod partcpatng n certan stuatons. Otherchldren go rom wearng earplugs (or earmus orheadphones) n a ew stuatons to wearng earplugsall the tme or wearng earplugs and avodng certanstuatons. Ts tpe o maladaptve response notonl can lmt a chld’s experences but also doesnot take care o the problem because t ocuses ontreatng the audtor/hearng sstem rather thanthe real underlng sstems nvolved.
classical and non-classicalaudiTory paThways
Let us revew the basc audtor sstem, whch salso known as the
classical auditory system
. Ts sstemstarts wth the ear. Te ear has three parts beoreenterng the central audtor pathwas, whch arealso called the central audtor nervous sstem(CANS). Te three parts o the ear nclude:
Te outer ear: Te outer ear ncludes what wesee and call “the ear,” whch s reall the pnna oraurcle. Te outer ear collects sound and brngst to the ear drum or tmpanc membrane.
Te mddle ear: Te tmpanc membranebegns the mddle ear, whch also nvolvesthe three bones o the mddle ear: malleus orhammer, ncus or anvl, and stapes or strrup.Te basc uncton o the mddle ear s to delverthe sound sgnal to the nner ear or cochlea.