XXIV Biennial Symposium of the International Evoked Response Audiometry Study Group (IERASG)

IERASG is an elite association of researchers specializing in evoked auditory potentials, existing since 1968. It is affiliated with the International Society of Audiology ISA. IERAGS meets every second year in different parts of the world.

This year conference has been organized by the University Dong-A and the National University in Seoul. President of the organizing committee was Prof. Lee-Suk Kim (University Dong-A), for many years a member of IERASG Board. This has been a much more numerous meeting than in the previous years. It is worth mentioning a large participation of researchers from China, members of the newly created Chinese Society of Evoked Response Audiometry.

Delegation of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing on the IERASG included Prof. Krzysztof Kochanek, Assoc. Prof. Wiesław W. Jędrzejczak and Dr Lech Śliwa. In 2017, as participants of the XXIV Symposium had been informed, a jubilee IERASG meeting will be organized by Prof. Henryk Skarżyński and his team in Warsaw (details will be provided at www.ierasg.ifps.org.pl).

The Hallowell Davis Lecture, traditionally opening each IERASG Symposium, delivered this year Terence Picton (former Chairman of IERASG Board). His lecture was titles ‘To hear speech’.

The Hallowell Davis lectures are a permanent point of a program of IERAGS meetings; it is dedicated to a physician, who had made great contributions to development of audiology and was also a creator of IERAGS.

Prof. Picton had begun his presentation displaying its title written in different alphabets: modern Chinese, Japanese and classical Chinese. He had mentioned a Korean king Sejong the Great, who in 15th century introduced the Hangul alphabet. He highlighted that Tripitaka Koreana – movable type for printing Buddhist texts – had been in use two centuries before Guttenberg’s invention.

The lecture proper was dedicated to evoked responses mimicking the course of stimulation and late and other cortical potentials. A conclusion of his lecture was that hearing aids had been designed for reception of speech, not clicks. Therefore during tests in hearing aids or cochlear implants we should be using stimuli similar to speech, not clicks. Prof. Picton had concluded his lecture with Latin sentence: Imago animi sermo est; qualis vir, talis oratio (Speech is a mirror of a soul; as the man is, so is his talk).

Invited lectures presented Roger Thornton on clinical applications of temporal nonlinear acoustic otoemissions and Manuel Don on presently still unknown aspects of evoked auditory potentials. Both scientists have stressed that in everyday clinical practice due to shortage of time and money we often disregard new techniques which could provide us with more information. Dr. Don had warned the audience that if we think that new techniques are too expensive, we should check how expensive ignorance is.

Three guest lectures presented: Carolyn J. Brown „New applications of evoked auditory potentials in cochlear implant users”, Anu Sharma „Changes in allocation of cortical reserves in hypoacusia”, and Kelly Tremblay „Older ears and older brains: consequences in diagnostics and rehabilitation”.

A novel addition to the IERASG history had been the workshops. They were received by participants with great enthusiasm, so they will likely be added to the regular program of IERASG Symposia.