Episode 20: What is Auditory Processing? - The Personal Brain Trainer Podcast

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What is Auditory Processing?

Episode 20 of the Personal Brain Trainer Podcast



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Full Transcript for Episode 20

Welcome to the Personal Brain Trainer Podcast.

I'm Dr. Erica Warren and I'm Darius Namdaran and we're your hosts.  Join us on an adventure to translate the scientific jargon and brain research into simple metaphors and stories for everyday life.  We explore executive functions and learning strategies that help turbocharge the mind. Come learn how to steer around the invisible barriers so that you can achieve your goals.  This podcast is ideal for parents, educators, and learners of all ages.

This podcast is brought to you by Bullet Map Academy. We have free dyslexia screener app called dyslexia quiz.  It's a fun, engaging and interactive app.  Try it now.  Just search for dyslexia quiz on the app store and see how your score differs from your friends and family.

This podcast is brought to you by www.goodsensorylearning.com where you can find educational and occupational therapy lessons and remedial materials that bring delight to learning.

Finally, you can find Dr Warren's many courses at www.learningspecialistcourses.com .  Come check out our newest course on developing executive functions and study strategies.

So, what's the topic for this week?

Erica today we're going to be talking about auditory processing now.

What's that got to do with executive functioning skills and brain training and so forth?

Well auditory processing is a really, really important skill because it enables us to bring that information into our mind and the cognitive skill that allows us to interpret and find meaning in the sounds of our environment.

In other words, it's how we make sense of what we hear.


So, we've got to make sense of it to be able to act on it and the executive of us needs to be able to take action.

And we've got those three elements of taking action which is working memory which takes that information in and decides where it goes and what we do with it.

If we do something with it and then there's inhibitory control which decides what we're going to focus in on and what we're not going to focus in on.

And then we're looking at cognitive flexibility is the third phase where we are flexible enough cognitively to adapt to the real world around us, Our mental model to the real world.

So, I imagine auditory processing may be related to all three aspects of executive functioning.

I'm sure you could because I mean it's primarily important in working memory because really the first sequence of working memory is sensory processing, processing our sensory information.

So, if we're not able to hear properly or make sense of what we hear then we're not really able to bring that information into executive functions.

We could look at inhibitory control again, if we're not hearing information, we are not able to pay attention to it or inhibited.

It's already inhibited.

Ah ha Nice one.


So, it's in voluntarily inhibited because you're not getting the processing of information and also in the third element of cognitive flexibility.

If you're not getting the right feedback from the world auditory-wise you're not adapting cognitively flexibly to what you're hearing.

In the extreme of this would be my dad with his hearing aids.

You know, like if he doesn't have his hearing aids in it's just a nightmare and that would be an interesting metaphor here, wouldn't it?

Because we like to take what we're doing here and create metaphors and try and use examples would someone with a hearing aid that sometimes is in and works fine. Other times, they forget to leave, and they just try and improvise without it by lip reading or guessing what a person is saying etcetera.

Be a way of understanding this process.

Actually, no, I'm so glad that you said that because it really gets it's something that's very important.

It doesn't have to do with your hearing, it has to do with how you process.

Thank you for doing that.

Thank you for walking into that.

However, my boyfriend also wears hearing aids, and he has both hearing and auditory processing issues.

So even if he has his hearing aids in, he sometimes misinterprets what's said because he has a hard time actually, we'll talk about the very first one which is auditory discrimination.

He has a very hard time distinguishing between sounds that are similar but they're not the same.

He'll misinterpret what somebody has said because it sounds similar to something else.

I'm trying to think of some good examples.

His mother is also the same way.

So, for example, instead of calling it WIFI, she calls it wifey, she has like a lot of very funny misinterpretations of what she hears because she has trouble but that that we have to be careful with that.

Again, that could be purely because she's not hearing it correctly.

The wee fee that you mentioned as opposed to WIFI, that that lady was saying, could that also be phonological processing where she's not getting the phonemes of WIFI - or is it auditory processing?

It's that's very difficult.

That's very difficult to analyze.

Well, the bottom line is she has a very severe auditory deficit, she cannot hear.

Well, so that's probably what it is.

But I do have some examples of students that I've worked with or that I've heard about that didn't have hearing problems but did have these kind of auditory discrimination issues.

So, for example, I read about this online about a little boy, I forget what the context was, but he was looking at an elephant and he called a frickin elephant and the teacher got a little upset because that's not very appropriate in in school, but that's how he, that's what he thought it was.

He didn't know it was an African.

He said a frickin, so you know African elephant, right?

Isn't that a good one?

Well, it really goes to show you that a lot of these poor kids with their misunderstandings can get themselves into trouble and they don't understand why, And I'll give you another example that when I came back from England, I told everybody that I had an English accident, and everybody would laugh at me, and I was mortified.

And I didn't understand why people were laughing at me and I came home, and I said mom everybody was laughing at me today.

I'm really upset about it.

And she said what happened?

She said I told them I had an English accident and they laughed at me.

And so, she laughed at me and I really, I had a lot of auditory discrimination problems.

I had dyslexia and that was the root of my issue that led to the diagnosis of dyslexia.

Yeah, I got laughed at a lot and that mortified me.

I took it very personally.

I took it as an insult.

When people laughed, they were laughing because it was a cute mistake.

And I have to be very careful when I have my students not to do the same thing because it's not funny from their standpoint.

It's not funny.

They feel like you're laughing at them.

You know?

Um This is terrible.

But the thing is when you're in a household with someone who has dyslexia or phonological processing or ADHD

Even but especially dyslexia and associated processing difficulties there's often a lot of very funny moments and I think if there's one place that you need to feel safe enough to be able to not be laughed at but be laughed with and get the feedback.

It has to be family so that, you know, there needs to be a point where my daughter, for example, she found it really hard to say the word specifically.


Which is a really hard work to say if you've not got it right in your head.

And she would say, I can't even say it wrong.

How would specifically she would say something like specifically or something like that.

Get the letters the wrong way around in her head and that's another one that we're going to talk about.

And we could talk about that one.

Next, you've Got a bunch here, you've written down 10 different ones.

Why don't you give us an over Review of 10 different ways auditory processing can affect the way you take in information when you've heard it.

So, let's just be clear here.

Okay, I'm stating the obvious.

But you have definitely heard the information.

There's nothing wrong with your ears.

The sounds have come into your brain.

But the way your brain processes the audio might cause some problem.

And these are 10 different ways where it might not quite process the information in the way that you want it.

So, what are those 10 ways?

There's auditory discrimination which we talked about.

There is auditory closure.

There's auditory figure ground auditory synthesis auditory memory at large auditory sequencing auditory reasoning, auditory conceptualization, auditory attention, and auditory localization auditory it is it's very intense and of course each one of those is going to be remediated differently.

They have different nuances to them.

They're all auditory processing but they're distinct from one another.

So, let's go through the list.

So, we've auditory discrimination, which is being able to discriminate between subtle, subtle sounds that sound similar, but they are different.

Perfect example of that are the vowels.

A lot of kids with dyslexia that have auditory discrimination issues suffer from the difference between the short sound of A.

And the short sound of E.

They're really similar and ah they're very similar.

And for many of them it's really difficult to do that.

And you have to get very creative with helping them to discriminate between those.

And I often will spend quite a bit of time before we even read work just to make sure that they can discriminate between those sounds because if you work too quickly and they can't really discriminate between those sounds, it leads to so many spelling issues and reading issues.

So, you really have to stick with that very simple task, and I'll put the letters on maybe circles and let them jump to them where I'll say one of them and they jump to it, or I'll put them on a piece of paper in a circle and I'll just point to them, and they have to say them as quickly as they can.

But I try to turn it into a variety of games.

We may put them on a balloon and then I we tossed the balloon back and forth to each other and we may actually say the letter and eventually we may say the letter in a word like elephant Apple.

So, doing little activities like that to make sure that they're really discriminating between them.

Yeah, they can, but it just takes a little bit longer for them to really be able to distinguish the difference between them.

Yeah, it’s like focusing on a camera to start changing the focus until it sharpens up.

It's like it's blurry and the kind of the images look kind of the same or the sounds look kind of the same.

And that process is a sharpening of their discrimination.

Now, adults, we've talked a lot about kids here were podcasts for both podcasts.

For adults who are thinking about their own minds and also maybe thinking about their Children's minds as well.

But where do adults experience auditory discrimination?

And where is it our common areas that maybe adults have had this auditory discrimination all through their life.

But it's still showing up as an adult?

Where is a tripping point or something that's common?

That trips you up, you know, it's misunderstandings of where you think it's one thing and it's another, it's a pronunciation of something.

A lot of people that have auditory processing issues at large, really struggle if they're in a park or at a party and there are a lot of people talking and they just get completely overwhelmed with all the noise of it and being able to focus in on what one person is saying.

And maybe with a lot of a lot of effort, they can hear someone, but they may misinterpret what they're saying because they don't hear it that well, where they hear it, they don't process it that well.

So, they may hear some words that are different from what was actually said.

So, it's interesting.

Okay, so auditory closure, what is that auditory closure is the ability to understand words when some sounds or phonemes are missing.

So let me give you an example if I said the word banana.

Do you know what I'm trying?


So, some individuals that have auditory closure issues struggle with that.

An example where an adult might experience those difficulties in real life or if they're maybe listening to a podcast or they're in a class where they have a teacher that has a foreign accent and the teacher isn't pronouncing properly all the sounds and the words, I have great difficulty taking a course or listening to a podcast where someone has a really strong accent and I know my boyfriend really does.

You know if there's even a British accent, he struggles with will have to put the words on the screen close caption so that he can kind of fill in those blanks and that's a beautiful accommodation for individuals that have auditory issues, particularly when they're watching the television or watching a movie.

You can put on the close caption.

So, when they have those moments where they're like, what did they say?

They can actually read it, that gives them that visual input to compensate for the gaps in their auditory processing.

Oh, I want to share something with you that I've been wanting to share for a while that connects, but also takes us down a slight tangent for a short while using watching Netflix and using close captions is really useful for a whole heap of reasons like you're saying auditory closure, maybe even auditory discrimination using the captions is so helpful for lots of people that process information differently.

And I found it very useful putting in captions sometimes when I'm watching stuff just to keep me focused and aware of what I'm watching?

And there's also another feature that's often there, which is audio description.

Have you ever come across that within Netflix or amazon or whatever?

And I think this is a very useful technique for you to use listener us to use as adults and for Children to use because it helps in all sorts of different processing weight.

So, what it does is it's designed for people who are blind, okay, so it's playing the movie okay?

You can hear the dialogue, you can hear the sounds, you can hear the music, okay?

But you can't see the person moving through the scene or opening a book or something like that.

So, what they do is they've got subtitles but they're like audio description titles. What it does is, Mary walks into the room and then Mary says this dialogue, hey john what's happened outside?

I heard an explosion, you know?

And then the narrator says, john walks to the window and opens the blinds.

What I found that really blew me away and this might sound strange is that I started to think of the narrative in a different way because I was being led by the audio description as to what to look at and what to pay attention to.

You know, what you're doing is you're stepping into number seven will skip down to that auditory reasoning, auditory reasoning is the ability to understand the auditory information in a logical way and draw conclusions.

Some people will watch movies and they're like, I'm lost.

I don't know what's going on.

And that resource would be amazing for these people because it gives them more support of what's going on, what's the meaning behind what's going on.

So, I'm sure that, you know, yes, they give them information about where people are within space.

But they probably do offer some reasoning portion as well for the blind and that would be absolutely fantastic for those that have those auditory reasoning deficits that are like wait a minute, I'm a little lost what's going on here?

I'm confused joining the dots, joining the audio dot.

That's right.

So that is such a brilliant example of an accommodation for somebody with auditory reasoning issues.

I was really struck by that.

I actually use this for it turns a Netflix series for me into an audio book so I can switch the screen off and just listen to the audio description and the narration and things like that basically turns it into an elegy, a book for me.

You know what?

That would be an absolutely brilliant exercise for Children or adults that want to develop their visualization capacity.


And then every once in a while, you can open the camera the screen and see if it matches what you're imagining.

Absolutely, absolutely.

But I think, you know, we're always looking for resources on how to help individuals develop that visualization muscle which is of course another piece of executive functioning.

It's it resides in working memory.

It's that visual spatial sketchpad and for those that many individuals that struggle to read, such as those with dyslexia don't have the cognitive space to visualize.

And I'm also saying that we have to develop that skill to automaticity so that we can improve their reading comprehension and that would be a really good exercise for them.

Yes, because what I was going to run by you on this one and I think this is a good place to do.

It is maybe you can think of something else that it ties in with this that often if you're a very big picture thinker which often is associated with dyslexia or a D.



As well.

You know you're just sensing so much in a scene, okay a visual scene, you're seeing so much or hearing so much something like this where it's an audio description is training you to, it's like the inhibitory control.

It's like how to inhibit all of the information you're seeing in that scene and you're saying, oh is that window important?

Is this important?

That might be important, that might be important.

It's like no this is what's important.

That's what's important.

This is the flow of the story which helps in the way that you explain yourself.

How to explain things in a clear systematic flow of a story rather than haphazardly.

Uh There's this there's that there's this there's that and people are totally confused by what you're saying.

So, I think this auditory description is gradually training you how to describe a scene how to follow through in a scene that has been so intentionally done by the director?

They're trying to throw you and lots of things are just subtly being done in the background but when it's so explicitly done, I found it really starts to train the way I attend.

Yeah, attend.

And also tell stories, it's really interesting and I would imagine that there are times where they're done better than other times and I wonder if the directors are involved in that technically they should be right because the director may not agree with the interpretation.

That's true.

Yeah, because you've got a very narrow window of opportunity to say this is what we're focusing on, that's what we're focusing on, you know, because they've only got so many words and they use them very judiciously so you don't interrupt the flow of the things so they're being really very judicious about what words they say and what they point out I say that I think they're very good.

Do you know what I've noticed is that it's only really big budget things on Netflix and amazon that do this.

Like if you look at others, they don't have audio description.

And just for any of you that want to try this out, what you do is you go to the subtitles okay.

And under subtitles you will see English, German French whatever subtitles you want, but you will also see something that says audio description English and you click on the audio description as well as subtitles or instead of subtitles and you get the audio description then and it just does another voice overlay on whatever is happening in the on the movie and you can switch on and off whenever you so interesting, it's such a great way of supporting executive functioning.

It's such a great way of supporting inhibitory control.

It's such a great way of supporting auditory reasoning.

Also, auditory attention which we're going to talk about as well.

So that was such a great little rabbit hole that we jumped into.

Should we move on to number three?

Let's go to auditory figure ground and this is the ability to focus on specific sounds in noisy environments.

That's really hard for me if it's really noisy it's like the analogy is a visual one, I'm going to use is like if you're watching three different movies simultaneously, it's difficult to process it because there are three different things going on.

It's the same thing that when you're in a noisy background there are all these different conversations and it's interesting how when you use inhibitory control you can actually listen two different conversations going on around you.

Like if you're sitting say in a in a train and there's someone in a seat over and they're talking to somebody, you can actually listen in on their conversation or not.

You have the ability to by using inhibitory control to zoom in on different things that you hear in your environment.

I mean how often do you go outside and you're thinking and thinking and thinking and then all of a sudden, you're like oh listen to the birds, you switch your attention, you switch your focus and then you inhibit your thoughts, and you hear the birds and then you might inhibit that and do something else.

I mean it's fascinating how executive functioning really helps us to zoom in visually or auditory li on different things in our environment.

But you can see that if we absorbed everything at once we wouldn't be able to make sense of anything because it would just be a cacophony of noise.

I liked Elon musk's quote about the brain.

He says our brains are deletion machines and I think that's an interesting phrase because he's really studying ai and how this neural network is working and trying to mimic a brain.

And he's using neural link with where you can put probes in your brain and control things through the probes in your brain.

So, what he's sort of discovered sharing is that actually your brain is trying to decide what to delete and what not to and is actually trying to convert information into vectors.

And this is a very technical language, but it's fastened.

It's really useful for me because the difference between a pixel and a vector is a pixel.

If you look at a picture and it's got the picture of a face a doodle of a circle with two eyes in it and a nose and a mouth that lying around the face could be made up of 1000 pixels.

Or it could be made up of five points around it where it's got a vector that just kind of curves and joins the points and the same with the eyes?

So, you've gone from 1000 bits of information down to five with some little instructions of how the curve should join the points.

So, let's say seven or eight.

So, 10 points five points of link and then five points of how the line should join compared to 1000 different little pixels.

And so, our brain is consistently trying to simplify and vectorized, symbolize what it's hearing and seeing and experiencing so we can process it, store it, and use it.

And so, we're deletion and simplification machines.


Well, it's very interesting.

I love that analogy because I think that there are those people that view reality like a vector.

And so, it's not too overwhelming.

But the people that have a difficulty with auditory figure ground are viewing it the other way and they're getting that sensory overload.

And they're really struck, they see it as pixels and it's like whoa, this is too much for me to absorb.

And maybe that's ultimately a good metaphor of how we want to train people that have auditory figure ground issues to kind of vectorized their reality instead of pixelated.

And then they have less of that overwhelmed.

But many people that have both visual and auditory because they're very, very similar ways of processing.

There's visual figure ground and there's auditory figure ground.

Why is it called figure ground.

Is it?

I get ground.

It's kind of like seeing a map of an audio map in the cafe and you're zooming in on different things and trying to get an audio map of the grounds as it were.

But what's figure ground is that the shapes or because they also use this idea for visual processing?

Figure ground makes more sense because you've got figures that are overlapping each other.

So, I think it's borrowed from perhaps visual processing and that it's easier that it's the same kind of concept of layers of figures over one another and difficulty discriminating between or making being able to see one and not all of them.

It's the same concept as auditory would be my guess.

But I didn't I didn't come up with that idea.

I don't think I would have called it auditory figure ground because it doesn't work as well.

But I can see why they did.

If they had thought of visual figure ground first.

That's Yeah, because all of this is your kind of running in parallel the same categorization between auditory processing and visual processing.

You've got visual discrimination, auditory discrimination.

Visual closure, auditory closure.

Visual figure ground auditory fisher ground.

They're not the same.

They're not all the same.

There are a couple that are a little bit different which will be the last one auditory localization.

And we'll talk about that.

The next thing we're going to talk about is auditory synthesis and that's the ability to pull together individual sounds into a meaningful whole.

So, if I say at if you were to take those three sounds and put them together, what am I saying?

I think you're saying yes, that's exactly right.

So, people that have a hard time where you can see how that would really impact reading because if you're sounding out a word and then you have a hard time with auditory synthesis, sounding out words isn't going to be very helpful.

And for those kids, I like to work with them on a whole word method.

So instead of sounding out sounds within a word which isn't going to really work because they have a hard time synthesizing it, getting them to see the whole word and say alright, it's cat. C A T is cat.

So that they see the whole word and they say cat.

Now they don't have to worry about auditory synthesis.

You must get into trouble with people when it comes to dyslexia reading programs then sometimes well there are a lot of reading programs like Orton Gillingham based reading programs that really insist on that individual development of the phone names.

And then the sequencing.

And then the synthesizing and I have had students that have not had success.

They tried the Orton Gillingham program didn't work largely because they had this very problem and perhaps some other auditory processing problems that didn't enable them to make sense of that process and it didn't work for them.

And then when I tried a whole word method, they learn to read within a matter of months - like super-fast. I'm not putting down Orton Gillingham, it's brilliant for the vast majority of people.

But isn't it fascinating that something that is like such a go to cancer suddenly be stopped in its tracks by something like so fine as this auditory synthesis.

That's right, that's right.

And you know, I think we have to as practitioners like you and I we have to stay open to the idea that not every program is going to work for every kid and that we have to have these kinds of flexible ways of trying different things with them so that we can unlock their potential.

I mean, granted, you know, another way of working this issue is to strengthen their auditory synthesis skills first and then put them through an Orton Gillingham based reading program because there are other benefits to it.

It really helps with spelling and other aspects.

They integrate a lot of writing and spelling, not just reading and visualization.

So, there's so many other pieces to an Orton Gillingham program that would be so brilliant for them.

The other thing is you could do a whole word method just for the reading.

So, teaching them almost like you have to use a whole word method essentially for pretty much for sight words, right?

So really approaching every word like a site word.

But then using the other principles of Orton Gillingham because it won't necessarily tap into that auditory synthesis issue.

But you can also strengthen auditory synthesis, but you have to be very intentional about it.

Okay so we have had auditory discrimination, auditory closure, auditory figure, ground auditory synthesis, auditory memory.

Next Yes let's talk about that.

This is the ability to recall information that is presented orally.

So, it's - are we remembering it?

Are we encoding it so that we can retrieve it later.

So sometimes people are making sense of all this information but they're not able to remember it at a later time.

A perfect example of that is you're introduced to someone, and you forget their name later.

You may have even used a strategy where you repeated back their name, but you didn't fully encode it.

It only went into your immediate memory, or your short-term memory and you never really lodged it into long term memory.

So that would be a good example of auditory memory.

It's a fairly simple one but a lot of individuals struggle with that and sometimes we have to be more intentional about getting things into long term memory so that we can retrieve it at a later time and that's where I love to use memory strategies.

And sometimes if I know somebody has a hard time, I'll give them a memory strategy like I'll say my name is Erica.

Think of it as Erica America

I see.

So, have you heard of dual coding?

Dual coding, a little bit?


I think a psychologist in the 1970s, I can't remember his name came up with the term jewel coding.

And really this was the beginning of him giving a phrase towards the phonological loop and the visual spatial loop for our working memory.

And what he noticed was when your dual code information, you hear a word, you code it with a picture, your brain remembers it so much more and that's really working with this phonological loop and this visual spatial loop in your working memory and connecting them both together.

So, I imagine if you've got an auditory memory weakness you could compensate by dual coding it with a visual memory strength and coding them together.

And he was saying that all learning really needs this kind of dual coding to happen to actually get it into the long-term memory.

And I find that a really simple straightforward way.

Hack as it were of, you know, just dual code it.

And the whole principle behind dual coding is that the picture that you code with isn't actually an image.

It's more of a doodle or a sketch or a symbol.

And again, it's coming back to this vectorization of knowledge.

You create a visual vector symbol.

Happy face, sad face.

Us a star flag or something.

But it's not all lovely and colored and colored in perfect.

It's a quick snapshot of a doodle in your mind or movement or a gesture or something.

Visual spatial that connects with the sounds.

And you duel coded it.

You can take it one step further and think of bringing in multi senses.

So dual coding is auditory and visual, but you could bring in tactile, you can bring in kinesthetic, you can bring in sequential simultaneous, you can bring in connecting it to something you already know.

That's not even necessarily senses.

It's also different ways of processing.

A tackle something to what you already know is going back into experiential.


That's more than dual coding.

It's multi coding.

Well actually I think the people who proposed jewel coding is simplistic to think of it as a visual and auditory.

It's more of the categorized as the word and everything.

Non word, you know?

And we predominantly use our visual coding but it's visual, spatial, its movement, it's lots more than just a picture.


So, it's kind of a sound symbol but adding that spatial piece.

So, it's really the components of working memory.

Yeah, really interesting.

So, let's move on to auditory sequencing and we touched on this a little bit.

It's the ability to understand and recall the specific order of sounds and words and words or even within words.

So, it goes back to your daughter's difficulty with specific specifically was it where she was miss sequencing and you'll hear that a lot with a really common one is this kitty and said spaghetti where they're taking the sounds and they're moving them around and getting them out of sequence.

This is one which can happen visually or auditory li when kids are learning to read or even adults where we might flip was and saw.

Typically, another question is, is that visual or auditory when you're reading and you read was a saw, was that visual, was that auditory could have been one or the other or both?

So, I think it needs quite a lot of humility with this actually because having experienced this myself, having experienced it with Children, my daughter daughters, you know that spaghetti, they keep saying pissgetty.

I think sometimes it's our responsibility as parents to as gently as possible to give that feedback.

And a loved one to say, hey, I'm hearing you say spaghetti as whatever it is.

I can't even say it wrong.

Um that's my own phonological processing.

I've got, I've become automatic at it.

So, what we did was we said actually, it's spaghetti and they're like, I think you need to get this and they're like, yeah, I need to get this.

And so sometimes in our family we would stop slow down.

We wouldn't laugh at them.

We would work with them and say, okay, and they would go through it, and we would try it different ways until they got it and then we would say, hey, you got the spaghetti again, you know?

And they're like, oh yeah, okay.

And so otherwise they won't get it from anyone else.

And so, we need that feedback.

And I think that's one of the key things I found in all of this is loving feedback fast.

Loving feedback is so important to give and to welcome and receive.

And I think that's something with all of this brain stuff is feedback is so important because we can't always see the way our brains working.

We need another person to reflect from definitely, definitely.

I love that.

Yes, compassion is everything and we all have those little blips that we trip over and when people can be compassionate, then we move through because if we're teased or it creates any kind of anxiety, we tend to hold onto that misinterpretation because the anxiety always takes us back to that miss established way that we have learned.

So, I think passion is huge and I think compassionate feedback is key.

I mean sometimes I found myself laughing at my daughter with and we have a laugh and I go that was a dyslexic moment, wasn't it?

You don't take it so personally, and you're like, yeah, it was a dyslexic moment and sometimes it's just funny and you leave it, but sometimes it's really important and you need to nail that because you're going to say that in front of someone else and it's going to distract them from something important that you're trying to say.

So yeah, what's next?

Number seven is auditory reasoning.

We have talked about that pretty much fully.

Again, it's just the ability to understand auditory information in a logical way and to draw conclusions.

And we use that analogy of that feature on Netflix and on amazon that give you written descriptions of what's happening in a movie.

So, I'll leave it at that and let's move on to auditory conceptualization and this is the ability to interpret a sound or sounds.

So, can you interpret them?

Can you conceptualize them?

It's similar to reasoning, it’s similar but you're not reasoning with it.

It's just can you conceptualize it?

Uh So it's like I hear a bird song and I can say oh that's a bird.

And then the auditory reasoning would be oh I'm hearing birds here there and there, there must be a ton of birds over and that that's even different.

That's the next one is actually number 10 which is auditory localization.

So, conceptualization is just the ability to conceptualize what it was.

It's a bird, right?

So, if you were to reason with that, you would try to interpret what the cat was trying to say or what the word was meant by his communication.

So, conceptualization is just very simple, very simple, but you could see how like my goodness if they can't conceptualize auditory information that's going to cause a lot of issues in learning the next one is auditory attention which you can see and you see the kind of the kind of morph a little bit and they're so close to another.

So, you can't conceptualize it unless you're paying attention to it.

So, it's that inhibitory control.


So, are we paying attention?

Are we inhibiting the other things so that we hear that bird?


And it's really filtering out the unnecessary sounds as well as sustaining and shifting attention, focusing on sounds.

So, this is the biggest sort of executive function, you know, it's a function of inhibitory control.




So now that we're starting to look at, it's interesting where all these little pieces fit into executive functioning.

But again, if you if you're not processing the auditory information, you can't work with it.

And finally, we have auditory localization.

I find this one really interesting and it's the ability to determine the source and location of the sound.

So, it's very dangerous when people have these issues because they could get hit by a car because they don't know where it's coming from.

And it's really interesting.

This is another my poor boyfriend.

I'm using him in a lot of examples today because I guess he's got some auditory processing issues, he's a very gifted person, particularly in the area of woodworking and incredibly artistic, but it's very interesting because I'll be calling him, and he'll start walking in the opposite direction.

He doesn't know where the sound is coming from.

He's like, where are you?

I'm like, I'm here.

That doesn't help.

Well, I think this just kind of brings up, I mean that's fascinating.

I think let's go to the metal level as we finish off understanding a loved one's way of thinking is so important and processing and processing process before you think it's so important because it saves so many misunderstandings.

I mean, I'll tell you a funny story about my wife yesterday was saying to me, we need to make a time to meet your dad and we need to meet on a Saturday.

I'm like, Okay.

And she said I'm thinking the 18th of May and I'm like, I have no idea when the 18th of May is, I don't know what data is today, I can't remember it.

I think it's somewhere in April we are right now.


Oh, I'm looking at the calendars 27th of April, you know, so she's not giving me a frame of reference and I'm like, how many Saturdays away is that?

And she's like, oh it's two weeks on Saturday and I'm like, is that in three Saturday’s time?

And so, my language, I needed her to say how many Saturdays to go.

And even saying two weeks on Saturday is another cognitive step that I have to process before I can give her the answer.

So, it took us about 10 minutes just to say which Saturday you talk talking about.

Please say it in a way I can understand.

And so, once you learn the language of one another, it's not just love languages.

It's, it's actually just what's the way that they take in information really simply and straightforwardly so that you can communicate with them really fast and clearly.

That's such a great example.

So, time is something that's more elusive to you than to her and you very concrete markers that help you to make sense of time which are very different than the concrete markers that help her to make sense of time.


And tying it into this auditory processing which is also different from the way that we process auditory localization.

For example, instead of saying I'm here, you would say I'm in the bedroom and they're like, alright, great fine, where are you?

Hey Erica, where are you?

I'm in the garden whenever I'm speaking, just say, hey john I'm over here in the garage.


It's, it's like, it's like going back, you know that it's going back to what we were talking about with the Netflix where it gives you that much more information so that you can process it and make reason with it and find what location it is.

It just makes it simpler for that person.

So, they don't have so much auditory processing overwhelmed because I see that and those that struggle with auditory processing, it's exhausting, you know, a day of school is exhausting because they've worked so hard to make sense of what they heard that they're spent.

And that's why they, they're like, I don't want to do homework, I'm spent, they're cooked, they're done.

Well, one practical thing is zoom.

We can spend a lot of time on zoom, and we coach our students on zoom, and I have to speak to my coaches and say, look, coaches, you need to have the cleanest audio possible.

So is this little audio friction for the child on the other end as possible because every increase in sound or buzz or distance or lack of clarity adds to the cognitive load, they have to process that and clean up. That tires them out.

And I think a lot of people on zoom experience a lot of zoom fatigue comes from audio.

That's, wow, what a great way to wrap this up.

I think you're right.

I think we have to be very intentional about having clean audio that's and that's not just for Children, but it's for adults too, that when we're in a in a zoom, be sure to use good audio.

I think that's, that's incredibly, incredibly important and I hadn't really thought about it that way, that it's just a polite thing to do.

And actually, we've changed one of our questions at the beginning, our protocol, our standard operating procedure of starting a conversation on zoom.

Used to be can you hear me, okay?

And now it's changed to can you hear me clearly?

And then the other person gets given permission to say actually you're a bit fuzzy.

You know, staticky and because otherwise they will just politely suffer.

You're right.


That's what we've kind of learned in our culture is to politely suffer.

Then we just have to concentrate that much harder becomes our issue.

And you know, in the classroom we'll wrap up after this is they have in the United States FM systems and it's a way for the teacher to project their voice directly to the student using a microphone under the teacher's mouth to a speaker that goes directly to the student or very close to the students so that they can have a better time hearing, hearing.

And of course, it's not about hearing, it's about processing.

But you can't always process if you're not hearing clearly.

Well, Erica, this was huge.

A mine of information that was 10 different auditory processing.

I'll run it through it quickly.

We covered auditory discrimination auditory closure, auditory.

Figure ground auditory synthesis, auditory memory, auditory sequencing auditory conceptualization, auditory attention, auditory localization.

And there was one more.

You missed auditory reasoning.

Oh, did I?

You did.

That was a lot of fun.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful to everybody else and it was a real pleasure until next time.


Thank you for joining our conversation here at the Personal Brain Trainer Podcast.

This is Dr. Erica Warren and Darius Namdaran. Check out the show notes for links to resources mentioned in the podcast and please leave us a review and shares on social media until next time.