Medicine: Sounds & Shocks

If a child is born deaf, the sooner his handicap can be measured and treated, the better. The trouble is that methods of measuring deafness which work well enough with adults are of little use with the very young. At the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, doctors are using a method which gets around this difficulty by combining a midget electric shock and Pavlov's psychology of conditioning.

The child wears earphones and holds electrodes in his hands. At first the operator sends a strong sound signal through the phones and then gives the youngster a slight electric shock (only one stage...

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