Questions tagged [human-ear]

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

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Do hair cells in the ear also vibrate at frequencies outside our hearing spectrum?

(The question has its origin because I asked myself in how far frequencies outside our perception can harm our hearing.) First of all, the energy of a mechanical wave (in this case, the sound wave, ...
iwab's user avatar
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Can you alter your hearing range by changing air pressure in your nose?

I caught a bad cold recently and found that increasing air pressure in my nose causes some clicks in my ear. I understood from this site that this is because ears and nose are connected. But what I ...
AlphaLife's user avatar
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Where in the cochlea are frequencies below 200 Hz detected?

I understand that different frequencies are detected in different positions along the cochlea. I'm also aware that the range of human hearing is roughly between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. However, looking at ...
Hoff's user avatar
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If tinnitus is, in many cases, caused by damaged ear hair cells, couldn't it be solved by a mini cochlear implant that sends a constant signal?

If my understanding is correct, tinnitus is in most cases caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells, especially on the basal parts of the cochlea, which correspond to high frequencies. So, for ...
MaiaVictor's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
694 views

What determines the maximum frequency limit that humans can hear?

I learned that the human ear doesn't hear sounds outside the range of 20-20,000 Hz. I can understand that sounds below this range are so weak that they don't affect the ear. But why do sounds above ...
Abd-Elaziz Sharaf's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Why does a caloric reflex test induce sideways movement of the eyes?

By my understanding the semi-circle canals in the inner ear are oriented in each of the 3 dimensional planes to sense rotation of the head. When the head moves, the fluid inside of the canals does not ...
cornelius's user avatar
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Would tinnitus be explained by perpetually-bent/opened hairs in the cochlea?

When I look around for what causes tinnitus and the like, the usual response is "Well, loud sounds and hearing damage" but I feel like that's a little plain and I am curious about the ...
user525966's user avatar
12 votes
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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 ...
user525966's user avatar
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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. ...
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174 views

Do adult mammalian cochlear inner hair cells regenerate?

The consensus seems to be no, but I see conflicting evidence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5361427/ Supernumerary human hair cells—signs of regeneration or impaired development? A ...
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Has anyone yet figured out how sensory signals for eyes and ears are encoded by our organ into electrical signals? [closed]

The most obvious way to give sight to blind and hearing to deaf is to give them a replacement organ for these. In order to do that we would need to understand how our eyes and ears encode sensory ...
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Are children's ears more vulnerable to loud noise than adults?

I am interested , what are child's ear development stages? Do newborns' have already developed (defensed) ear like adults have and there is no much difference with regard being vulnerable toward ...
T.Todua's user avatar
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Do kids under a certain age not hear the warning beeps that smoke detectors make when they are running out of battery power?

I've always been very annoyed by those regular single beeps that smoke detectors start doing increasingly often as the batteries start to run out, to warn (and annoy) the user to replace the batteries....
Leonard's user avatar
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static versus dynamic equilibrium when bending over

When a person stoops/bends over, is the equilibrium functioning static equilibrium or dynamic equilibrium? I am not sure, because on the one hand the person is not moving (static), however, his/her ...
dalta's user avatar
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Why/how does exposure to noise cause cochlear hair-cell loss?

I am trying to understand why listening to loud music - e.g. concerts or earphones at high volume damages hearing. According to the National Institute on Deafness the cause is physical. Most ...
ahron's user avatar
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Do nerves work as I think they work and what does that mean for our senses?

Let me start off with a couple of metaphors. In the third Lord of the Rings film, a signal for help is sent from Minas Tirith to Gondor, using a chain of beacons. When the keepers of one of these ...
Tailspin's user avatar
6 votes
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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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 ...
wav scientist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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How are sound waves amplified while traveling within the cochlea?

How are sound waves amplified while traveling from the basal membrane to apical membrane within the cochlea? Are they amplified by the movement of the stapes?
vish's user avatar
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1 answer
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Could one hear without his ear?

Might be a stupid question, but I'm quite curious about finding out ^^ If someone looses his ear, or for example cuts it of, just as Van Gogh did. Would he still be able to hear, since the actual ...
Suimon's user avatar
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Evolution - The ability to control ear muscles

Among animals the ability to control ear muscles is pretty common, but only a few humans have the ability. Is it because we in general lost this ability ?
user42962's user avatar
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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 ...
Kevin Wang's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
225 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 ...
Welz's user avatar
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What is the difference between the otolith membrane and the endolymph?

The human vestibular system contains otoliths to sense acceleration in the vertical and horizontal plane. I cannot find what the difference is between the otolith membrane and the endolymph? Can ...
zaji's user avatar
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How large are the inner ear hairs?

I was always under the impression that the auditory hairs located deep within the ear, past the ear drum, are microscopic. After taking a shower today, I was softly padding my outer ear with some ...
Dave's user avatar
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How does the human ear guess the direction of the source? [duplicate]

Suppose a sound is produced behind you. You can easily tell that the sound came from behind. Our ear lobes face towards the front and hence traps the sound waves which come from the front. Yet, we ...
Yashas's user avatar
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Why don't my ears pop in the morning going through a tunnel?

I drive through a tunnel (morning and evening) on my normal work commute. In the evenings, my ears will pop going through this tunnel, but they do not pop in the mornings. There are actually 2 ...
David's user avatar
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Ear ossicles a part of Skull?

Is there anything special about not considering ear ossicles as a part of skull? I could not understand the reasoning behind such classification.
JM97's user avatar
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What is the course of inter auricular line?

BACKGROUND: The interauricular line is the line connecting two auricles. I wish to know the exact route through which this line passes. I want to be sure whether it passes through the parietal ...
JM97's user avatar
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3 votes
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Cartilage regeneration

Why can we not regenerate cartilage in our ear and nose, while bones and flesh can heal? What makes it so resistant to regeneration. Can we artificially create it in the lab?
murmansk's user avatar
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Why does the inside of ear smell nice? [closed]

You can judge my habits later, but sometimes I stick my finger in my ear and smell my finger. When doing this, I get a pleasant smell for some reason. I haven't use hair lotion for a long time cause I ...
FirstSintax's user avatar
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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 ...
Carlton Banks's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
941 views

How long do tiny spiders live? [closed]

I'm pretty sure there's a spider in my ear. I feel it move and hear the scratching (i blame my cat for playing with bugs in the bed). I've gone to the doctor, but all they do is flush my ear with ...
Wulf's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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How much does hearing deteriorate with age?

For the average person, what is the lowest volume of a pure tone at each frequency they can hear as a function of age? I know some people lose hearing faster than other people, because they are ...
Timothy's user avatar
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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 ...
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Potential between endolymph/cytoplasm and endolymph/perilymph [closed]

I am studying for an exam and there is something I can't seem to understand. My textbook says that the endolymph contains 150mM potassium, 2mM Na+ and 130mM Cl-. The perilymph contains 5mM potassium, ...
Marina's user avatar
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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 ...
velut luna's user avatar
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1 answer
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Anatomy of the ear canal

When you insert your finger into your ear, you hit a dead end. You can't insert your finger into the auditory canal. What's this dead end called, the medical term for it?
panther1's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
426 views

Short dated spontaneous ringing in ear [closed]

What causes very high pitched sound in one's ear?
Quark's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
909 views

Why does the direction of endolymph flow oppose direction of body motion?

In the semicircular canals, the endolymph always flows in a direction that is opposite to the motion of the vestibular apparatus itself. I’m having trouble grasping why this is, and I would greatly ...
lightweaver's user avatar
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Depolarization and hyperpolarization in stereocilia of the inner ear

It’s a well mentioned fact that when the stereocilia of the cochlear hair cells bend in one direction, the hair cell depolarizes, and when the stereocilia bend in the other direction, the cell ...
lightweaver's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Klayton Thomas's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
125 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 ...
liya77's user avatar
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4 answers
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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 ...
landroni's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
joseluisbz's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k 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 "...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
17k 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. ...
Lorin's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
118 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 ...
Mazura's user avatar
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