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Dec 09, 2015 09:50 AM EST

Visual concentration can make you temporarily deaf


A new study in the United Kingdom suggests that concentrating on a visual task can make a person temporarily deaf to sounds coming from around him, Tech Times reports. 

The experts at the University College London termed this temporary deafness as "inattentional deafness."

The study featured in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The UCL researchers said the brain has a limitation in processing capacity. Therefore, when a person is multitasking, the brain is forced to choose between the two senses since both the senses of vision and hearing are located in the limited region of the brain called the association cortex.

"In order to hear, we don't just need our ears to be operating; we need our brain to respond to the sound," said UCL Professor Nilli Lavie, co-author of the study, according to abc news.

For the study, Lavie and her colleagues conducted brain scans on 13 participants when they were concentrating on a computer screen. They concluded that when the participants were concentrating on a demanding task, their brain's response to sound was significantly lower.

On the other hand, when the visual task was easy, participants were able to detect sounds with no difficulty.

"When the task was easier we could see a brain signal indicating they could hear the tone," Lavie says, according to Today.

"When it was difficult, we saw a reduced signal in the auditory cortex."

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