Lack of Attention Causes Deafness

April 26, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 
1. explanation (n.) [ek-spluh-ney-shuhn] – a meaning or interpretation for something
Example: The manager demands an explanation from his employees after the company lost huge amounts of money.

2. deafness (n.) [def-nes] – a physical condition in which a person does not hear anything
Example: People who suffer from deafness use symbols to communicate.
3. incapable (adj.) [in-key-puh-buhl] – lacking or missing the ability to do something
Example: The deaf are incapable of hearing.

4. intersecting (adj.) [in-ter-sek-ting]  – crossing at one point, as in lines
ExampleIntersecting roads are dangerous because cars from different direction meet at one point.

5. reversed (adj.) [ri-vurst] – to be of opposite or different nature
Example: The teacher decided to follow a reversed order by starting at the end of the line.

Read the text below.

Psychologists from University College London have found an explanation why we sometimes cannot hear sounds surrounding us when we are reading a book or texting on our phones. According to Nilli Lavie, an expert on the function of the brain, this phenomenon is caused by inattention deafness.

Inattention deafness happens when part of the brain is too focused on something that it becomes incapable of focusing on what the ears hear.

Lavie found this out through a series of experiments involving 100 participants. The participants were asked to do an easy and a hard task while wearing a headphone. They were told that the headphone will help them focus. But what they do not know is that the headphone produces an unexpected sound while they are doing the tasks.

The first task involves observing the colors of two intersecting lines; while the second one, which requires more focus, involves identifying which is larger between the two lines.

After the first task, 8 out of 10 participants noticed the sound produced by the headphones. However, the results were reversed after the second task: 8 out of 10 participants did not notice the same sound at all.

Lavie and her colleagues were surprised to discover that paying attention matters to hearing because the brain cannot focus on two things at the same time.

Viewpoint Discussion 
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why is it dangerous to use your phone while driving?
·         How can someone avoid using their phones while driving?

Discussion B
·         What do you think are the bad effects of using gadgets all the time?
·         How can you lessen the use of gadgets?


April 26, 2012