What exactly is “auditory attention”?
Have you ever been accused of not listening or paying attention? Every day we are bomb
arded with images, noises, conversations, things moving, emails, texts, phones, TV, radio, all pressuring and demanding our attention. It’s no wonder so many people are feeling overwhelmed! Our brain un - consciously takes all of this in and filters out what we consider to be unimportant. How does it decide? What if we have to listen to something we consider boring? Why can some people have a conversation in a noisy environment and others can’t? What’s the difference between hearing and auditory attention?
Hearing is the ability to actually sense and differentiate a particular sound/word at different frequencies, pitches, and tones. Auditory Attention is the ability to filter out surrounding sounds to focus on something specific and the ability to listen to something that may not be very interesting (a conversation vs music, educational seminar we’re not into). Auditory Attention also includes the ability to shift your attention appropriately rather than fixating. Auditory Processing includes the speed at which one can take information in, assess what to do with it, and how quickly they will react.
Poor Auditory Attention is one of the primary complaints of ADHD. If you are having difficulty listening or paying attention, it’s important to confirm that there are no hearing issues. Such a simple step that is often overlooked and may actually play a part in how your brain processes information. After that, understanding auditory attention & processing is key. . These are skills that are naturally developed as better in some, worse in others. Poor auditory attention/processing can make ALL the difference of whether the person can survive/thrive in school, at work, or in a crowd, with their friends and family. It’s not practical or realistic to think that we can get through life by just surrounding ourselves in what’s fun & interesting. Life isn’t that simple. But the good news is, auditory attention and processing CAN be noticeably improved! Follow us to learn more.