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March 8, 2013
"Solving the 'Cocktail Party Problem': How We Can Focus on One Speaker in Noisy Crowds"
I have Parkinson's and fear Alzheimer's. So, I'm intrigued by all the new findings that show how our brains work... or how they don't. One of my best sources of information is Science Daily.
I've signed up for daily emails from their section "mind & brain" section. I regularly see interesting headlines, then click to read the full stories.
The exact title of today's blog post appeared among this morning's Science Daily headlines. I thought, "That's always been a problem for me, too."
I scanned the story and saw that the study was conducted at Columbia University's' Department of Psychiatry. "Good," thought this Ivy League snob. I read that the aged and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were particularly susceptible to the "cocktail party problem." That's' me!
Then I finished my quick scan of the story. Where was the brain's secret solution to the problem?
I reread the story more carefully. There, tucked away at the end of the third paragraph was the answer to the problem -- if you concentrate on the speaker, the background chatter fades away.
Big D'uh! My aging, hyperactive brain can't do that.
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