Genetics of hearing loss

Cynthia C. Morton and Anne B.S. Giersch

in Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: The Ear

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233397
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Genetics of hearing loss

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology



Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in humans. Genetic deafness can be one clinical finding in a collection of symptoms that characterize a specific disease or it can be the sole consequence of a single gene mutation. Different mutations in the same gene can result in different forms of deafness or different inheritance patterns. This article begins with an overview of incidence of hearing loss in the general population. It then discusses syndromic versus non-syndromic hearing loss. It also reveals hearing loss caused by mitochondric mutation. Furthermore, it explains mechanisms to find the deafness genes in humans, giving examples of some deafness genes and functional groups, and what has been learned from them. Following this, it deals with the procedure of genetic testing for deafness. Finally, it reveals the difference between Deaf culture and being deaf, throwing light on the need to develop sensitivity to the Deaf culture.

Keywords: hearing loss; genetic deafness; mutation; deafness genes; genetic testing for deafness; Deaf culture; deaf

Article.  16503 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Cognitive Psychology

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