The Auditory Response

  • John Bench


The author has deliberately chosen the term “auditory response” in this discussion of auditory function in the fetus and neonate, and has eschewed the use of “hearing.’’ The reason for the choice is that the word “hearing” used with reference to the fetus, neonate, and even the older infant could give rise to a conceptual hazard. A little thought will show that “hearing” is normally used in relation to a complex adult activity whereby the hearer elaborates, consciously or unconsciously, the connotations of certain acoustic properties of sounds on the basis of previous auditory experience. In other words, when the adult hears, he interprets sounds by making use of what he has heard previously, even long previously, and this interpretation can be regarded as part of hearing. Also, “hearing” may refer to listening, to perceiving, and so on.


Startle Response Fetal Heart Rate Sound Stimulus Auditory Response Response Decrement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Bench
    • 1
  1. 1.Audiology UnitRoyal Berkshire HospitalReadingEngland

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