First anatomical reconstruction of the Neanderthal cartilaginous Eustachian tube (CET) indicates the tubal morphology may have predisposed them to high rates of otitis media, a common childhood ear infection. The susceptibility to ear infections may have compromised their fitness and ability to compete within their niche. This may have contributed to their rapid extinction.
A new study reports short term hearing loss can lead to changes in the auditory system, forcing neurons to alter their shape and behavior.
Researching on ferrets, scientists find new insights into how the brain compensates for temporary hearing loss in infants.