Questions tagged [hearing]

Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
37
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
32k views

Why do adults lose hearing at high frequencies?

Children and teens can hear high pitched sounds that adults can't hear anymore. Why do adults lose high-frequency hearing?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How do small animals make loud sounds?

Walking past the park today, I heard a cicada so loud I thought at first it must be some sort of large power tool. How is it that that very small animals like cicadas (crickets, etc.) can make such ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make a fake auditory signal?

My question is about making fake auditory signals. The ear collects sounds from the environment, which are transformed into a neural signal by the hair cells in the inner ear. This signal is sent ...
15
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
918 views

Why do we like music?

Music is, of course, just a sequence of sounds. Sounds are vibrations in the air, which our ears detect. So why do we find certain sequences of sounds to be appealing? What makes us want to hear these ...
11
votes
1answer
540 views

How does pressure travel through the cochlea exactly?

I cannot find this answer anywhere. What I do know is that the stapes pounds on the round window of the cochlea and this causes the fluid to move inside the cochlea itself, which has the three ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the mechanism behind tinnitus?

I seem to have come across two contrasting explanations for tinnitus induced by loud noises- i.e. damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. On the one hand, I have read that damage to the hair cells ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are unilaterally deaf people able to determine where sound comes from?

My question is on people deafened in one ear, but normal hearing in the other. Time and level differences between the two ears are only part of how the human body can localize the source of the sound....
9
votes
1answer
6k views

Does the human ear adapt to noise levels?

I have noticed lately that if I go to sleep, when I have my radio running, it is on lowest volume, I still consider it kind of loud. In the morning, when being on the edge of waking up, I hear the ...
9
votes
2answers
271 views

Why can good music raise goosebumps?

Listening to really good music right now, I was wondering why it raises goosebumps. Is there any physiological reason for this reaction to specific wavelengths or something? EDIT: Due sometimes ...
9
votes
1answer
576 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
44k views

Is the ringing sound in the ears caused by dying ear cells?

I was recently watching the movie "Children of Men" (great movie) by Alfonso Cuarón. Now in a certain scene, the lead actor happens to be nearby a loud explosion. Later, when he complains about the '...
8
votes
2answers
246 views

Why are melodies/harmonies perceived as pleasurable by humans?

Is there any evolutionary advantage to finding melodies or harmonies pleasurable? Does the ear pick up these particular oscillating waves differently from other sounds, and if so, how does that affect ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

Why is the human ear most sensitive to 4000 Hz tones?

Human hearing sensitivity is dependent on frequency, which can be visualized by equal-loudness (iso-loudness) contour plots. An example is given below (Taken from here). This plot shows that a tone ...
7
votes
3answers
943 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?
7
votes
1answer
173 views

Are there any animals that are unable to hear the human voice?

Humans and animals have different hearing ranges. The frequency range of a human, for example, is stated with 20 Hz to 20 kHz, whereas the fundamental voice frequency is stated with 125 Hz for men, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't we hear ultrasonic sounds as aliased versions of the original signals?

The upper limit of hearing is approximately 15 kHz, dependent on age and other factors. According to the principles of digital signal-processing, such an upper limit would mean that the auditory ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can bats hear such high frequencies?

I attended a talk that glossed over some biology as it was talking about a certain protein. The speaker mentioned humans can hear up to, often less than 20kHz frequencies, whereas bats can hear up to ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

How does prolonged exposure to high frequency noise affect hearing?

Is there any research showing how prolonged exposure to background noises, particularly high frequency noises, affect hearing abilities? Does constant high pitched noise cause damage even a low ...
7
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do our ears or brains gradually adapt to noise pollution?

Having lived in various places all over the world for the past 9 years of my life, one thing stood out to me throughout this time, and now in particular. From a quiet place on the countryside in ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

What causes “ear rumbling”?

The video Ear rumbling happens below the range of human hearing demonstrates that the "ear rumbling" sound is actual sound and can be recorded by a sensitive microphone near the ear. What is it ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is it that I can understand speech through one ear better than the other ear?

First, I do a lot of music so I'm used to pick up details in sound and I have had hearing tests showing that my ears are quite well balanced, for my age, without any dead spots. When I am in a social ...
6
votes
2answers
87 views

Are there gaps in what our ears can hear?

I know about the hair cells in our Cochlea and it is the movement of the fluid that makes them vibrate. And it is this that activates the transmission of electrical signals to the brain that become ...
6
votes
1answer
896 views

How can we tell which direction sound is coming from?

Pretty self descriptive, without being able to view the source of the noise how can we tell the difference between a sound in front of us and a sound behind us if pitch, volume and distance are all ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What causes the tonotopic organization of the inner ear?

I'm trying to understand why tones are registered in the way that they are in the inner ear, i.e., why are high pitched sounds sensed at the base of the cochlea and low frequencies in the apex? I've ...
5
votes
2answers
768 views

Why are mammals the only animals with pinnae / outer ears?

Yes, I know owls have feathery "ear tufts", but these are less suited for hearing and more for display. And I find it hard to believe that animals like dinosaurs or other cursorial archosaurs would ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Latency to audition in human beings?

On average, in a human being with no neurological deficits, how long does it take for a sound which is sensed in the ear to reach the cortex? Which brainstem structures are most responsible for the ...
5
votes
3answers
16k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

What is the biological limit on hearing resolution?

I sometimes wonder how many different individual musical scales could be perceived by human ears. I define a musical scale as a collection of notes that relate to some fundamental frequency by ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Are our ears more sensitive to low or high pitched sounds?

I am a Physics student who also love music and learned a little bit about Medical Physics. I know that the basilar membrane in the cochlear duct enables us to distinguish different frequencies. The ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the frequency resolution of the human ear?

I was thinking about audio compression (namely mp3), that "filters" out sound that we would not likely hear. The MP3 lossy audio data compression algorithm takes advantage of a perceptual ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
355 views

Is brain plasticity such that we can train ourself to see with our ears?

I am finishing writing some code which will parse a photo (eventually video) and use all the RGB information to synthesize an audio representation. I am wondering whether a typical person has ...
4
votes
1answer
694 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
2answers
6k views

What is the purpose of the incus?

The three bones in the middle ear -- the malleus, the incus, and the stapes-- play a role in transmitting sound waves to the inner ear (the cochlea). I understand that the malleus is the bone closest ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How we can localize sound vertically (up-down) and front-to-back?

It is quite simple to understand the concept of lateral localization of sound. It depends upon the loudness and time (and wave phase) difference between 2 ears. But how can we detect front-back ...
4
votes
1answer
340 views

How far does eardrum move?

Sound waves move human eardrum back and forth, like the peak to peak excursion of speaker driver, how much is it though? Ofcourse this movement depends on sound pressure, frequency and even location ...
4
votes
1answer
541 views

What determines the perceived pitch (frequency) of tinnitus?

I noticed that every time I suffer temporary tinnitus after going to a very loud concert, the frequency I perceive is identical. I'd put it somewhere around 17 kHz, but it's difficult to pin down with ...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

In what range do humans generally interpret sound best?

I am currently working on a speech recognition frameworks. A generally used feature used in speech recognition are MFCC features, which uses the mel scale to extract features with. The mel scale ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 and Wikipedia is only giving me the frequency limit that the human ear can receive, but I cannot find mention ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Pitch perception - why is the missing fundamental not directly detected in the cochlea?

I'm learning about pitch perception, and learned about the case of the missing fundamental. In the main image in that wikipedia page, it seems like the bottom graph, with the fundamental frequency ...
4
votes
2answers
353 views

How can binaural beats change mental state?

Can anyone tell me how binaural beats of 10 Hz can cause a person to calm down and one of 40 Hz to cause someone to heighten their attention. All I know is that they work on the principal of Brainwave ...
4
votes
3answers
585 views

What is the term for awareness of or inclusion of real sounds within a dream?

I fell asleep while listening to a podcast, and I am sure I was dreaming but I could also still hear the podcast. The podcast played an important role in the dream, I was searching for the source of ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Can a sound frequency 'not' within human hearing (20 Hz - 20 kHz) damage hearing when it is of high volume? [duplicate]

We can't hear sounds outside the range of 20 Hz - 20 kHz. However, if an inaudible sound is played at high volume, will one's hearing be affected?
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What happens when I pop my ears?

What happens when my ears are popped? I understand it increases the air inside there which makes my volume louder, what happens after that, do my ears gradually readjust back to the air pressure that ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Difference in reptile inner ear and otosclerosis

In reptiles, the sound is conducted from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear by a single bone. In the disease otosclerosis the stapes of humans become fused to the other middle ear bones( or to ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

Distribution of hearing loss

Low-frequency sounds are more penetrating, damaging. Hearing damage caused by blasts typically occurs at frequencies around 2 - 8 kHz, while age-related hearing loss starts at the high frequencies. ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Can a brain process auditory signals at 18 weeks of human development?

According to When a fetus hear , When a baby can hear in the womb and several other similar articles, a baby starts to hear sounds at week 18. And according to How hearing works. Hearing involves ...