From: University of Toronto
Published May 17, 2017 08:21 AM

Super hearing: University of Toronto scientists study fly to develop better hearing aids

Ormia ochracea's sense of directional hearing is second to none in the animal kingdom.

“These flies have highly specialized ears that provide the most acute directional hearing of any animal,” says Andrew Mason, an associate professor of biology at U of T Scarborough.  “The mechanism that makes their hearing so exceptional has even led to a range of bio-inspired technology, like the mini-directional microphones used in hearing aids.”

But when it comes to hearing aids, engineers need to solve something called the “cocktail-party-problem,” that is how to improve signal detection in noisy environments, like tracking a conversation at a crowded party.

New research has found that Ornia's mechanically-coupled eardrums could help it from being distracted by other noises – a finding that could help in the development of better hearing aids.

 

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Photo via University of Toronto.

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