March 29, 2018. On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, we were honoured to judge a specialty prize, the “Listen To This” Award, which comes with a $25 prize, at the PEI Science Fair. This is presented annually to a student whose project best demonstrates awareness of hearing loss and associated issues, in an effort to encourage young scientists in the making to consider issues of concern to the hard of hearing.
This year, the award went to Grade 10 Bluefield High School student Ahnais Young, of Bonshaw, for her project “Auditory and Cerebral Hemispheric Lateralization in Relation to Handedness”. Ahnais’s project tested whether ‘auditory dominance is related to cerebral hemispheric lateralization’. What does this mean? Basically, the right side of your brain controls the movements of the left side of your body, and vice versa.
Ahnais wanted to see if this held true for hearing as well. She wondered whether, if the right side of the brain controls the left side of your hearing, and vice versa, you would hear better from one side of your ear than the other. She also wondered if auditory dominance was determined by brain dominance.
The project testing phase was in two parts. Participants were first given a Brain Dominance Test, where they had to answer questions on a variety of topics, quickly and without thinking. This showed which side of the brain was most dominant. (Try the test yourself at: http://www.ipn.at/ipn.asp?BHX) See the chart below to show what functions are controlled by the right and left sides of our brains.
Next, participants took a hearing test, where they listened to sound files of different frequencies. This examined the sensitivity of hearing at different frequencies ranging from 250 Hz to 8000 Hz. Want to try the test yourself? Here is the link: https://hearingtest.online/
The result? Brain dominance does NOT determine auditory dominance. In her sample size of 135 participants, these were the results:
- 67/135 participants were right ear dominant – 49.63%
- 53/135 participants were left ear dominant – 39.26%
- 13/135 participants were equally dominant in either ear – 11.11%
The participants who were equally dominant in either ear tended to be left-handed or ambidextrous. Right ear dominance is believed to be due to the left side of the brain having the advantage for processing verbal information.
In her conclusion, Ahnais noted that research has proven that hearing is processed in the left side of the brain. “This is where the primary and secondary processing centres are located for speech, comprehension, hearing, and language. Our right ear has a more direct route to the processing centres because the left side of the brain is connected to the right side of our body.”
Involved in the PEI Science Fair since Grade 4, her parents are supportive of her projects, telling Ahnais that “It’s not about winning, just try your best.” This was an excellent presentation, well researched, and held our interest. Perhaps one day this project could be enlarged upon and studied further. Ahnais explained that she is looking at being either a veterinarian or a neurologist, but neurology is getting the edge. We certainly hope so!
Do you have a tip or story to share about hearing loss? Let us know! Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to check the upcoming events listing below! You won’t miss out on events of interest to you.
© Daria Valkenburg
Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.
Speechreading Classes begin in April and run for 10 weeks: Two sessions are offered this spring: Monday evenings from 7-9 pm beginning April 2, 2018, or Tuesday afternoons from 1:30-3:30 pm beginning April 3rd.”
Upcoming Seminar: “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.
Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.
Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In The Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.
Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.
Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall. Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!