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28 votes

Is there scientific evidence on the benefits of binaural beats?

Since I was asked in chat about binaural beats, and have been posed this question a number of times before besides, I looked into the most recent literature using Google Scholar for the single term &...
12 votes

How do we hear our inner voice?

No, inner speech does not follow the same neural pathway as speech coming in from outside. Rather, inner speech uses the same neural mechanism as outer speech - that is, speech going out. The neural ...
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11 votes

Is there scientific evidence on the benefits of binaural beats?

There is very little controlled, modern research on binaural beats. I could only find one source, referenced below, from the late nineties (although there are a few other, more recent non-...
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11 votes

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

Short answer Yes, there is a difference between hearing and understanding sound. Background Acoustic information is processed in different neural centers along the auditory pathway. The ...
  • 20.2k
9 votes

How to test whether a person is Left-Eared or Right-Eared?

The Lateral Preference Inventory Coren (1993) developed an inventory for lateral preference (The Lateral Preference Inventory). Several items concerned ear preference. I found the choice of items ...
9 votes
Accepted

Acoustic and light wave coherency?

First I have to say that the wavelengths of light are on a totally different order of magnitude than sound. So the parallel drawn in your question "do light waves, for example one with the same wave ...
  • 20.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Does your voice pitch affect your perceived authority?

There's quite a bit of research related to this topic: Male CEOs with deeper voices make more money and manage larger companies (Mayew et al., 2013). People are more likely to say they would vote ...
8 votes

Why do people tap their foot to music?

Short Answer: People tap their feet due to increased activity in the cerebellum. Detailed Answer: There already is some evidence that music can release certain neurotransmitters, including ...
7 votes

Long term effect of using noise generators

Short answer Yes, continuous exposure to white noise affects neural responses in the auditory system. First, it can alter the tonotopic map in the auditory cortex. Second, it can lead to reduced ...
  • 20.2k
7 votes

Why is the sound of running water soothing?

There cannot be a single answer to this question which would be entirely correct. Different theoretical approaches to psychology will yield different explanations. This is evident from the other ...
7 votes
Accepted

How is tone volume encoded?

There are quite a few stations between cochlea and the brain and I will focus on the auditory nerve. That said, your theories (a) and (b) are both correct, and therefore (d) applies as well. (a) ...
  • 20.2k
7 votes

How does the inner ear encode sound intensity?

Short answer Hair cells in the cochlea can code sound intensity via the amount of neurotransmitter they release. Higher sound levels result in more neurotransmitter release and in turn to higher ...
  • 20.2k
7 votes

What is the difference between noise reduction and noise cancellation?

Let's start with the terminologies in your question: Loudness: The level (amplitude) of the sound. The higher the sound level, the louder it is perceived. Loudness is measured on a dB scale, e.g. dBA ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What are the temporal limits of the auditory system?

As far as I know, auditory clicks are the shortest possible auditory stimuli. The shortest auditory click I was able to find in the literature, and which was used in a psychophysical context (i.e., ...
  • 20.2k
7 votes
Accepted

How can someone asleep recognize a very brief sound?

Short answer The auditory system remains active during sleep. Background Filtering of sensory input during sleep is a recognized phenomenon and indeed the senses are typically lulled during sleep. ...
  • 20.2k
7 votes
Accepted

How do hair cells recognize frequencies?

Short answer Population activity in auditory neurons allows rate coding of soundwaves with frequencies that exceed the firing rate limit. Place coding is, however, believed to be the most important ...
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6 votes

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

It is well documented that people are able to selectively attend to different speakers. The ability to tune-in to a particular speaker and filter out others was dubbed the cocktail party effect, since ...
6 votes
Accepted

Hearing Loss and Potentially hearing more

Short answer People with above-normal hearing exist. Background Normal hearing was defined as the average of a group of young healthy individuals. These normal hearing levels are currently used to ...
  • 20.2k
6 votes
Accepted

How do congenitally deaf and mute people think?

Short answer The inner voice of congenitally (pre-lingually) deaf people who have not received treatment like cochlear implantation, is not sound-based. Instead, it is mainly based on visual images, ...
  • 20.2k
6 votes
Accepted

How does speed listening work?

Your question made me think of JAWS, a screen reader for the blind. I have worked with visually impaired people for a while and I have always wondered how on earth they can understand the speech ...
  • 20.2k
6 votes

What are the temporal limits of the auditory system?

In terms of the shortest stimuli, the auditory system can process acoustic impulses, but defining the duration of an impulse is problematic. As the duration of the impulse gets shorter, the bandwidth ...
  • 2,637
5 votes

Is there scientific evidence on the benefits of binaural beats?

From "Binaural Auditory Beats Affect Vigilance Performance and Mood": Participants (n = 29) performed a 30-min visual vigilance task on three different days while listening to pink noise containing ...
  • 1,818
5 votes

Which is the shortest duration for a pitch difference in audio signals to be perceived by the human auditory system?

It really depends on what you mean by difference in pitch. Subjects can discriminate differences in frequency for very short tones, but it does not mean they are being perceived as pitch differences. ...
  • 2,637
5 votes

Why do people tap their foot to music?

The short answer is that it is pleasurable. Recent research from Witek et al (2014) sheds light on this. Their research on affective response and desire to move when listening to funk drum breaks ...
5 votes

How does speed listening work?

There is probably not a large difference from what occurs during normal listening--and that is likely why speed listening is effective: a. The reason it "feels" normal is the same that any other ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is mapping sound frequencies to the vertical axis universal?

Humans technically don't perceive frequencies, they perceive pitch. According to Wikipedia: the idiom relating vertical height to sound pitch is shared by most languages. citing a 1930 article by ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is Tinnitus caused by damage to the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) or Auditory Cortex, which can be repaired?

Short answer Sensory tinnitus is not caused by brain damage, but is due to degeneration of peripheral auditory neurons, and specifically the hair cells in the inner ear. Background Tinnitus can be ...
  • 20.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Why do psychologists tend to associate guilt with auditory admonition?

The book is available free online in Open Library and the Wolfram Eberhard reference seems to refer to Helen Lynd, On Shame and the Search for Identity" (New York, 1961), p. 207 The 1961 copy ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Can people with absolute pitch identify the exact frequency, or simply the pitch class?

Short answer In practice, absolute pitch is generally tested for by using musical pitch classes. Background Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify the pitch of a musical tone, or to produce a ...
  • 20.2k
3 votes

Acoustic and light wave coherency?

Comparing the two gets into metaphysics. There have been theories of a 'light octave', since IR to UV is not terribly far from a single octave. Basically, in the standard sense, no, our vision does ...
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