Following the World Congress of Audiology, Macquarie University and the Australian Hearing Hub hosted a satellite symposium on Friday 9 May 2014. The symposium focused on Hearing and the Brain – an emerging topic which has recently gained considerable momentum in the research arena. Previously, the functions of the ear and the brain were largely viewed independently. With the contribution of world leading experts in this field, led by A/Prof Catherine McMahon, Head of Audiology at Macquarie University, this symposium discussed current research and theories about the interrelationship between hearing and the brain, and how this knowledge can be efficiently translated within clinical practice to improve the quality of life of individuals living with a hearing impairment and their significant others.
The event was opened by distinguished guest Prof Mary O’Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. Prof O’Kane explained that “it is important to host events that bring together experts to discuss their current research, scientists and clinicians to identify the knowledge gaps and explore ways to effectively translate research into clinical practice.” She went on to say “only through translating research into clinical practice will we be in a position to impact positively the lives of persons living with a hearing impairment.”
The symposium bought together over 100 clinicians and researchers in fields of audiology, gerontology and cognitive science. International experts included:
- A/Prof Frank Lin, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine & the Bloomberg School of Public Health Kathy Pichora-Fuller, University of Toronto
- Prof Kelly Tremblay, University of Washington
- Prof Kathy Pichora-Fuller, University of Toronto
- Prof David Ryugo, Garvan Institute
- A/Prof Blake Johnson, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD)
These experts presented their research on hearing loss, cognition, and aging. The above presenters along with invited guests Prof Jim Patrick, Cochlear Limited and Ms Anne O’Neill, NSW Ministry of Health engaged in a fruitful panel discussion on the pathway to translation.
Prof Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Macquarie University explained during the welcome that “the Australian Hearing Hub unites researchers, educators, clinicians and innovators with expertise in linguistics, audiology, speech pathology, cognitive and language sciences, psychology, nanofabrication and engineering sciences.” He believes that the “Australian Hearing Hub is well-positioned with the research collaborations, networks between clinicians, researchers, industry partners and the Macquarie Private Hospital located on campus, as well as imaging technologies, such as the new cochlear implant magnetoencephalograph (MEG), to significantly contribute to the field of Hearing and the Brain.”
This event was supported by NSW Trade and Investment, Cochlear Limited, The HEARing CRC, and ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.