Abstract and Keywords
Auditory system function is constantly changing in response to internal and external forces; genetic, disease, and experience. This article addresses the changing nature of auditory abilities. It begins by providing an overview of the most significant, older findings, the primary focus of the presentation is on the recent findings of the last decade. It describes how the developing auditory system learns how to make sense of the complex waveforms arriving at the ears, from the fetal stage, to infancy, and through childhood. It also considers auditory learning; how the auditory brain changes and adapts to experience throughout life. Finally, it states that auditory learning tasks have great utility clinically. A challenging problem is to develop suitable infant test methods that incorporate auditory learning techniques to be used. A rich and challenging field of interest will be exploring the properties and mechanisms of listening and learning by people at all stages of development, and their interplay with cognitive abilities.
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