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27 votes
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Why is loud music much louder after pausing and resuming it?

Hearing is capable of sensory adaptation such that prolonged constant stimulus is perceived as less intense. In hearing, the adaptation to loud sounds is called acoustic reflex and is mediated by two ...
Domen's user avatar
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19 votes
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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?

Short answer You are right, with a few caveats. Background Most tinnitus cases are caused by sensorineural hearing loss, as you rightfully indicate, namely due to a loss of hair cells in the cochlea. ...
AliceD's user avatar
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14 votes

Can mosquitoes be attracted by our voice?

Mosquitoes can hear the human voice. If they use human sound to hone in on us as a source of a blood feed is not known at this time, however research into this has just begun. This is especially ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
12 votes
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How does pressure travel through the cochlea exactly?

Short answer The pressure wave through the scala vestibuli drives the basilar membrane response (BM). Your option (1) is correct, (2) is not. The pressure not really permeates or penetrates Reissner's ...
AliceD's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why is the human ear most sensitive to 4000 Hz tones?

The frequency-selectivity of loudness perception was first shown in the 1930s, when Fletcher and Munson published a set of curves showing the ear's sensitivity to loudness compared to frequency. These ...
AliceD's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is brain plasticity such that we can train ourself to see with our ears?

Short answer Yes, we can see with our ears. Background Bach-y-Rita famously stated "We see with our brains, not our eyes". Bach-y-Rita worked for decades on sensory substitution. Sensory substitution ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
9 votes

Can mosquitoes be attracted by our voice?

Mosquitos can certainly hear in the range of normal human speech. They are sensitive to the range of around 150-500Hz, and typical human speech is between 100-300Hz depending on your age and sex (DOI: ...
Joe's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are there any animals that are unable to hear the human voice?

Are there (apart from those with no sense of hearing at all) any animals that are unable to hear human voices at all? I don't know of any examples off the top of my head, but let's think about this ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,222
7 votes
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Where in the cochlea are frequencies below 200 Hz detected?

The answer is two fold, each related to the two ways pitch is encoded in the inner ear. These two mechanisms are place coding and rate coding. Regarding place-pitch; given that there are hair cells ...
AliceD's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why do oviparous animals not have ears?

Interesting hypothesis! - all of those animals you mentioned in fact do have ears, they just don't have external pinnae. You are probably thinking of these external structures when you are thinking of ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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6 votes
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What causes the tonotopic organization of the inner ear?

The frequency tuning in the cochlea is due to a number of factors. The primary factors of cochlear frequency tuning are generally ascribed to the passive physical characteristics of the basilar ...
AliceD's user avatar
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6 votes

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

Short answer Mammalian hearing is unique and amazing. The mammalian ear is unique and highly sensitive with a built in amplification system that means even minute changes in sound can be detected. ...
John's user avatar
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6 votes

Do schooling fish make sounds that predators could detect?

Yes, fish make sounds that predators can use: Like us, fish produce sound both unintentionally and intentionally. Unintentional sounds from fish come all the time, resulting from hydrodynamic ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
5 votes
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How far does eardrum move?

Tympanic displacement measurement (TMD) is a well studied field using hi-tech tools (i.e. stroboscopic holography), and complex units: Vm = volume displacement in nl nanoLiters. μm/pa (UDTF) = Linear ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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5 votes
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What causes "ear rumbling"?

I'm able to create rumbling in my ears at will. Unlike the poster of the video, I don't need to yawn to do so; I can do it without my face appearing to move. I actually discovered this alongside ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 793
4 votes

Do our ears or brains gradually adapt to noise pollution?

Very quickly and totally from the top of my head: Traffic noise is in many cases dominated by low frequencies, with the whole spectrum somewhat similar to a distorted 1/f function, with a few tonal ...
Simon Gee's user avatar
4 votes
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Why don't we hear ultrasonic sounds as aliased versions of the original signals?

Short answer The cochlea is a tonotopic map with certain physically determined boundaries that determine the range of frequencies perceived. Ultrasonic soundwaves simply do not have a correlate on ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
4 votes

What is the purpose of the incus?

The incus is there in humans because it is there in our mammalian ancestors, and it is there in our ancestors because the mammalian three-bone ossicle system was inherited from early amniotes. The ...
kmm's user avatar
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4 votes

How much does hearing deteriorate with age?

Hearing sensitivity deteriorates with age, which is called age-related hearing loss, or presbyacusis. Presbyacusis is characterized by elevated hearing thresholds. Especially the high frequencies are ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
4 votes
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What happens when I pop my ears?

The outer ear canal ends at the eardrum, and beyond that is the middle ear. The middle ear is normally a closed chamber, but can be connected to the outside world by flexing the jaw or muscles ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
  • 9,054
3 votes
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Ear ossicles a part of Skull?

The justification is simple. The bones of the ear [ear ossicles] do not articulate with any other bone of the skull hence it is not considered as a part of the skull, similar is the case with the ...
sourav thampan's user avatar
3 votes

In what range do humans generally interpret sound best?

I work on voice recognition too. Yes, very brilliant query about sound perception that I can clarify and not answer completely. Most of the text belongs to DSP SE forum, i.e. Voice rec, MFCC, filter, ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
3 votes

What happens to the human ear as it naturally goes deaf?

Hearing loss is caused by different things, but your probably thinking of age-related hearing loss. When people go deaf, it is be because "hair cells" in the ear break. This breakage results from ...
4D Neuron's user avatar
  • 360
3 votes

What is the purpose of the incus?

Short answer The incus forms a lever with the malleus, thereby amplifying incoming sound and aiding in the impedance-matching function of the middle ear. Background In addition to kmm's excellent ...
AliceD's user avatar
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3 votes
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How we can localize sound vertically (up-down) and front-to-back?

Localization along the azimuth (horizontal left-right axis) is mediated by various processes: 1) First, there is the head shadow effect, which means that sounds from the left reach the right ear (AD) ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
3 votes

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

Short answer Our ears are most sensitive to the mid-frequencies. Background There are different ways of assessing sound level. The physical one simply determines the physical sound pressure level (...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
3 votes

What causes the tonotopic organization of the inner ear?

To add to Christiaan's answer, the length of the hair cells also changes along the basilar membrane. They are longer and floppier near the apex. There are many levels of mechanical interaction ...
Bzrs's user avatar
  • 223
3 votes

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

The Wikipedia article is quite good. In brief, as you state, the wave phase can be used only to localise sounds in the plane of the ears. To have an approximation of the position in the median plane (...
Joce's user avatar
  • 1,127
3 votes
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Validity of Acoustic Weapon Effects on Biological Organisms?

There are a few things which can lead to miscommunication regarding the potency of acoustic weapons, but there are two main things to consider: source levels and duration. Most organisms can tolerate ...
etgriffiths's user avatar

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