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Aurora Weaver, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders in the College of Liberal Arts, was recently interviewed for an article in the Wall Street Journal on how people, especially children, typically hear better in their right ear.

“In children, the right ear has a huge advantage,” Weaver told the WSJ. “It’s not that the left ear isn’t hearing, it’s that the brain can’t make use of the information and respond to it.”

In children under the age of 13, this right-ear dominance plays a large role in comprehension. Because kids don't have a fully developed auditory system, they tend to rely on the more efficient right-ear, left-brain pathway. In adulthood, the left ear eventually “catches up” to the right ear. The phenomenon is known as the right-ear advantage. When speech funnels into your right ear, the initial signal reaches the left side of the brain, which processes language, in about 20 milliseconds. Information funneled through the left ear has to travel from the right side of the brain to the left side, where most people process language, and can take an addition 5-300 milliseconds.

Her research was also featured on Seeker.com. https://www.seeker.com/behavior/auditory-experiments-suggest-the-right-ear-is-the-better-listener

Weaver is the lead researcher of the Auditory and Music Perception Lab at Auburn University. To learn more about Weaver and her research, visit http://www.cla.auburn.edu/communicationdisorders/faculty-staff/aurora-weaver/.