Our research group has investigated the degree of inter-individual variability in basic auditory abilities and has explored the sources of its variation. We confirmed marked variability even among a clinically “normal” population of listeners. We also found that the variability reflects differences in mechanisms at processing levels lower than widely believed. The results of these studies should have significant implications in the medical field, particularly for diagnosing and treating people with difficulties in hearing in daily life. The study should also contribute to improving hearing-aid performance, designing auditory signals, and developing training methods for better hearing.
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