Questions regarding the structure, morphology, and function of the human ear.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

27
votes
3answers
4k views

Can humans perceive sounds above 20 kHz?

In the never-ending debate raging in the audiophile community about sound quality and what humans can or cannot hear, it is very very very very incredibly often cited that the upper-limit of the ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Will humans and animals be harmed by frequencies outside their hearing range?

The human ear (for example) is sensitive to frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz. Any sound beyond that limit would not be heard by us naturally. Will it harm us (effect our ability to hear) when we hear ...
8
votes
2answers
291 views

What is the human ear's temporal resolution?

What is the smallest sound duration that the human can hear? In other words, what is the lower duration limit for a sound to be translated into electrical signals by the ear? Suppose the human ear ...
8
votes
1answer
106 views

Why do humans hear better between 2kHz and 5kHz?

I've recently seen the following image: Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hoerflaeche.svg Translation (from German): The upper boundary (Schmerzgrenze) is where it starts to hurt ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

How can antibiotics damage the ear?

What is the mechanism by which aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as streptomycin and gentamicin) damage the mechano-sensory hair cells of the auditory and vestibular system? (Could this be seen as ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a human smell through the ears?

The title does, prima facie, appear absurd. Performing a swallowing action whilst pinching the nostrils shut gives the impression of listening through a bucket filled with water around the head; ...
7
votes
3answers
232 views

What exactly is Tinnitus?

What exactly is tinnitus? What is it's cause, and why do some people hear it and others don't?
6
votes
1answer
77 views

How can one accurately diagnose the cause of human hearing loss without surgery?

In a human, if you were to avoid a tympanotomy (surgical examination of the middle ear), how could you distinguish between a blocked Eustachian tube, a ruptured eardrum, or a perilymph fistula? For ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does yawning impair hearing?

When I yawn I can't hear anything happening around me. I also feel some kind of muscles inside my head contract and hear a faint hum, but it is not loud enough to explain not hearing other sounds. I ...
5
votes
3answers
201 views

Why do human ears have a lower boundary for the lowest energy perceivable signal than eyes?

I am currently hearing a lecture about human machine interaction. The lecturer is not a biologist (neither am I, we are both computer scientists), but he makes some statements about biology which I ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Are these claims of “revolutionising” understanding of human vision and hearing valid?

I've started a hobby machine vision project (and posted some questions to this end on other SE sites) and on a side track, also been looking at relevant research in human vision (and partly, hearing). ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

What is ear wax?

A human, at some time in life or the other, must clear the auditory canal. This is usually achieved using soft-cotton buds, or such similar device. Where does this wax come from? What purpose does ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

What are the lower and upper hearing limits of the human ear?

I am looking for the loudness limits, expressed in decibels, for the human ear. Google or Wikipedia giving me only frequency limit human ear can receive, but I cannot find mention about the decibel ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of the human ear?

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of human ears? I understand why the ears may have a funnel-like shape but if the various "hills and valleys" do not amplify incoming sound, what ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

What is an auditory upward sweep?

I was reading an article in nature communications, when I came across this sentence: "The ‘match’ rule was indicated by either a blue circle or a auditory upward sweep".So I tried googling what was an ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Hearing and neurons- do ears have a sampling period?

From what I have read, outer hair cells in the human ear amplify incoming signals and inner hair cells "pick-up" the signals and generate action potential. However, neurons have refractory periods ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

TV's so loud when I turn over

Scenario: I'm about to fall asleep with the T.V. on. Having completely forgotten that it was, no longer even hearing it, just before falling asleep I turn over with a 'fresh' ear and it's blaring. If ...
2
votes
2answers
433 views

Does prolonged exposure to low pitch but low volume noise affect hearing or stress?

This is similar to another post but not quite the same... At work, our ventilation system produces a constant low pitched sound - like a rumble - as well as the sound of air blowing through the vents. ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

How are the paranasal sinuses linked with the capillaries in the ear canals?

Sinus congestion often seems to be accompanied by excess pressure on the outer ears (as anyone who has shared a transcontinental flight with an infant can attest to) or fluid buildup in the canals. ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Can we stop hearing by ourselves? [closed]

If we don't want to see we can close our eyes. But if we want to avoid noise we can't do that just then as we don't have such fast reflex action to close our ears with hands like eyes. But like some ...
0
votes
1answer
213 views

While someone's ears pops with pressure, can he/she hear other sound at the same time?

I know that after or before someone's ears pops because of pressure changes, he/she can hear the sound such as laughter. But can these two things ("her ears popped with pressure" and "she can hear the ...