Audiology and Bilingualism

Audiology and Bilingualism

Bilingualism is the use of two languages or more by an individual, the proficiency in the languages depends on the opportunities one has to use the languages or exposure to other users of the language. Bilingualism is later divided into two classes, simultaneous bilingualism, and sequential bilingualism. Simultaneous bilingualism occurs when a child has been exposed to two languages since birth, the child becoming experienced in both languages with equal quality. While sequential bilingualism occurs when one has had exposure to a second language after the age of 3 when the first language has been well established.

One of the problems kids face with bilingualism is that they may have code mixing, which is mixing two words from different languages in one sentence. According to research children can tell the difference between languages as early as four months by listening to the rhythm differentiation, bringing up questions what about languages with a similar rhythm like French and Spanish. Another interesting fact is that as early as eight months bilinguals are sensitive to any information that distinguishes the languages.

Part 1

Outer ear

What is the helix?

The helix is the outermost part of the ear with a curve which ranges with a strong connection of the ear on the root to the end of the cartilage on the earlobe.

During otoscoping evaluation, where is the cone of light for the right ear?

The cone of light appears in the anterior inferior quadrant of the right ear during otoscoping evaluation.

What is the main function of the outer ear?

The outer ear gathers sound energy waves are redirecting them to the eardrum.

What is cerumen?

Cerumen also is known as the ear wax is a gray, yellow substance emitted by the body to protect the ears.

What color is a normal tympanic membrane?

The standard color of the tympanic membrane is pale, gray shiny with no bulging or retraction.

Part 2

Middle Ear

Name the three middle ear bones.

The middle ear has three bones which are the malleus, the incus, and the stapes.

What is the function of the Eustachian tube

The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx. Its purpose is to control pressure within the middle ear equalizing it with the pressure outside of the body.

What are the two cranial nerves involved in the Acoustic Reflex?

Is a healthy middle ear cavity filled with fluid?

No. a healthy middle ear should be an air-filled cavity to turn the sound waves into vibration which are received by the inner ear.

What structure is at the boundary between the outer ear and the middle ear?

The tympanic membrane or popularly known as the eardrum forms the boundary between the outer ear and the middle ear, which is stretched to the end of the external canal.



Part 3

Inner ear

What is the shape of the cochlea?

The cochlea has a spiral shape that helps to detect low-frequency sounds.

What is the organ of Corti?

The organ of Corti is the receptor organ situated on the basilar membrane of the cochlea for detecting sound waves to enable hearing.

The basilar membrane is tonotopically organized. What does it mean?

Tonotopic organization of basilar membranes refers to each segment having high sensitivity frequency, basically main tonotopic places rising to high frequency and low frequency allowing cochlear implants in response to sound tonotopically stimulating the auditory nerve.

What is the main function of the outer hair cells?

The outer hair cells instinctively trigger low-frequency sound amplification that enters into the cochlea by electrical driven motility of their cell bodies.

What fluid is in the scala media or cochlear duct?

The cochlear duct has canals that contain perilymph and endolymph fluids which is a unique composition and does not exist in any place of the body.

Part 4

Auditory Nerve

What does the auditory nerve link?

It’s a bundle of nerve fibers that connect the inner ear to the brain carrying information between the cochlea in the inner ear to the brain.

This nerve has several names. What are they?

It has several names such as vestibulocochlear nerve, the eighth cranial nerve, cochlear nerve, and the acoustic neuron

The auditory nerve is tonotopically organized. What does it mean?

This is the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequency are processed in the brain.

What does “afferent” mean?

Afferent pathways carry signals come from outside stimuli and communicate to the brain what they are sensing.

What does “efferent” mean?

While the efferent pathways carry signal away from the central nervous system.

Part 5

Auditory Pathways

What is the first nucleus on the auditory pathways?

Cochlear nuclei are the first relay on the primary auditory pathway in the brain stem.

75% of sensory fibers decussate. What does it mean?

They cross each other in the form of an X.

Where is the primary auditory cortex?

It is located at the posterior third of the superior temporal gyrus next to the wernicke’s area.

What is the brainstem?

The brainstem is the posterior part of the brain which includes the midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata.

What is the corpus collosum?

It connects the left and the right cerebral hemispheres making communication between them possible.

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