Dichotic Listening Deficit Associated With Solvent Exposure

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Abstract

Hypothesis:

A significant left ear deficit can be observed in solvent-exposed individuals using the dichotic digit test.

Background:

Solvents are ubiquitous in global industrial processes. Due to their lipophilic nature, solvents can adversely affect large white matter tracks such as the corpus callosum. Previous investigations reveal that long-term workplace exposure to solvents is also deleterious to various auditory processes. Investigations in exposed populations suggest a decreased performance for dichotic listening.

Methods:

In this present study, we examined the lateralization of a dichotic digit test score for 49 solvent-exposed individuals along with 49 age- and sex-matched controls. We evaluated group differences between test scores and the right ear advantage using a laterality index (LI).

Results:

Individual ear results suggest that long-term workplace solvent exposure is associated with a significantly lower dichotic listening score for the left ear. A binaural compound score analysis using a laterality index supports this left-ear deficit.

Conclusion:

These results provide an insight on the effects of solvent exposure on dichotic listening abilities. Further research should investigate the importance of using dichotic listening tasks to screen for solvent-induced auditory dysfunction in exposed individuals.

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