The TOMATIS Method
A TEACHING PROCESS FOR LISTENING
Listening is voluntary and attentive use of hearing for the purpose of learning and communicating. Listening is considered to be a high-level cognitive function. It implies the ability to manage emotions. It is more than passive reception of sound.
Listening is disrupted when sensory information is misinterpreted. We call this distorted listening.
This distortion is due to a dysfunction or weakening of the two muscles of the middle ear. These muscles are responsible for the transmission of sound to the inner ear and brain. When the sensory message is distorted, the brain protects itself by triggering mechanisms that confuse listening.
THE ELECTRONIC EAR
The Electronic Ear is a device used to execute the TOMATIS Method.
The Electronic Ear exercises the muscles of the middle ear to restore listening mechanisms that the brain has in place. It also helps the brain take attention to the auditory message. Over time, the ear will learn or re-learn to listen.
We say the ear “starts listening”.
An electronic gate makes it possible to alternate between two ways of perceiving the same auditory message.
The Electronic Ear triggers the stapedial reflex. This reflex causes the contraction of the auditory muscles. It is activated by the sudden switch from a low frequency signal, which requires no effort of adaptation or accommodation from the ear, to a high frequency signal, which requires a major effort of accommodation from the ear.
This back-and-forth movement between tension and relaxation in the muscles of the ear is manipulated by the use of the electronic gate, a device capable of alternating between two states of perception for the same auditory message. Through repeated use and progressive mobilization of the ear, optimization of the transmission of the message to the brain is acheived.
The Electronic Ear is designed to create a delay between the sound transmitted via air and the sound transmitted via bone. Due to this delay, called precession, the brain analyzes the message twice. After sustained auditory stimulation, the brain naturally takes over the function of anticipation performed by the machine.
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