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An Audiometric Defect In Temporal Lobe Dysfunction

K. Heilman, L. Hammer, B. Wilder
Published 1973 · Medicine

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Selective attention is important in perceptual function. Little is known, howevei, about the physiology or the anatomic substrate of the mechanisms involved. Although the auditory cortex is known to be significant in speech mechanisms, its role in selective attention has not been elucidated. Recently we had the opportunity to examine a 36 year old woman who had left anterior temporal lobectomy in 1970 for intractable temporal lobe seizures. After lobectomy, she complained of a hearing loss on the left side, but pure tone audiograms were normal. When the patient was seen one year later she complained that although she could comprehend spoken language well in a quiet setting, she had great difficulty comprehending it in a noisy setting. Her complaint prompted a study of patients with temporal lobe dysfunction to ascertain if a defect in selective auditory attention was present.
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