Hot answers tagged

28

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 "binaural beats" and restricted my search to papers published between 2010-2015. For convenience, this is the definition of a binaural beat I will use. ...


12

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 mechanisms of inner speech can be studied using recently developed technologies such as fMRI imaging of subjects instructed to or prevented from engaging in ...


11

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-experimental "pilot studies"). According to their study, "presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than ...


11

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 auditory system runs from the peripheral end organ in the inner ear (the cochlea) to the cortex. Along the way various processing steps are carried out. For ...


9

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 length as a mid-C and another with a mid-F wave, look nicely together?" may seem logical, but is on closer inspection not easily maintained. Instead, one way to ...


9

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 to be quite interesting. See below for the items concerned with ear preference. Based on a large adult normative sample, a total score was created for the four ...


8

Jens' answer is pretty much spot on, but misses the fact, remembered from my undergraduate lectures, that your ears actually partially 'turn off' when you speak (or chew), in what's called the stapedius reflex (wikipedia). The most common reference I've seen for this is Møller (2000), which unfortunately is a book, but I'm sure more information could be ...


8

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 for a political candidate with a deeper voice (Klofstad et al., 2012; Tigue et al., 2011). People rate lower-pitched voices as more persuasive than higher-pitched ...


8

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 dopamine. You can assume that people who tap their feet to the music, are in someway "pleased" by the music, meaning that their body goes into some sort of ...


7

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) Neurons in the auditory nerve increase their firing rate when sound level is increased (Heil et al, 2011). This can be regarded as the primary mechanism for ...


7

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 answers in this question (some which you provided) which all stem from different theoretical accounts: Evolutionary Psychology: Species evolving around water ...


7

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 responsiveness of the auditory thalamus. Background Note: this answer is based on animal experiments using extreme conditions, namely a continuous noise ...


7

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 firing rates in the spiral ganglion cells of the auditory nerve. Background Sound waves are picked up by the mechanoreceptors in the inner ear: the hair cells. ...


7

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 (corrected for the human sensitivity across frequencies), dB HL (used in the clinic relative to normal-hearing level) or dB SPL (a more physical approach to ...


7

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., audible to a human) was 10 microseconds (Leshowitz, 1971). The longest sound we can hear is pretty much defined as a human's maximum age I guess. While the ...


7

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. This phenomenon is, at least partly, caused by thalamic gating. Thalamic gating is caused by the thalamus entering a state in which slow-wave activity disrupts ...


6

I think this is not a psychological syndrome but just a reflection of the physical procesces. As such it might not be on-topic for this site. Having this said, here is a quick answer. When you hear your own while speaking, the sound source is in a different place than it is, when you hear a recording of your voice through a loudspeaker. In addition, when ...


6

It greatly depends on what you mean as 'noticeable' - what/why do you want to synchronise, and how it reaches the ears from physical speakers. Keep in mind that a sound source being 30cm/1 feet further from the ear is about the same effect as a millisecond of delay (speed of sound ~340m/s) - thus, synchronising on the order of microseconds is generally ...


6

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 it is the kind of skill that is required in when trying to have a conversation with another person in a crowded party. A common way of studying this ...


6

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 express acoustic sensitivities. One commonly used way is to use decibels relative to this normal hearing level (dB NH). This scale is used in audiograms (Schnupp ...


6

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, such as sign-language or printed material. Background According to an anecdotal report published in the Independent of a congenitally deaf person, who ...


6

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 gets broader. A 25 us impulse has frequencies between 0 and 20 kHz, as you decrease the duration of the impulse you add higher frequency components such that a ...


5

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. The classic paper in this area is Moore (1973): As the duration is reduced from 200 ms to 6.25 ms, performance falls off, especially for low frequency tones. ...


5

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 simple tones or binaural beats either in the beta range (16 and 24 Hz) or the theta/delta range (1.5 and 4 Hz). However, participants were kept blind to the ...


5

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 showed that "syncopation seems to be an important structural factor in embodied and affective responses to groove". Here is their full PLOS article: http://...


5

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 produced by JAWS given the sheer high speech rates they apply on their gadgets. Indeed, people with peripheral vision loss may learn to understand spoken language ...


5

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 Pratt, which in turn says that: Stumpf has found that adjectives meaning high and low (or words closely related in meaning) have been applied to tones in ...


4

It generally helps to provide some sort of specification as to how well you want to control the timing. There are 4 orders of magnitude difference between the 100 ms timing accuracy required for auditory and visual stimuli to be judged simultaneous (Zampini et al. 2005) and the 0.1 ms timing accuracy required for binaural stimuli to be judged simultaneous (...


4

The answer ought to be a qualified "Yes." We don't only hear what we want, in as much as motivation has zero direct control over the transduction of auditory signals in a sensory sense. Motivation affects which way we turn our ears and whether we keep them in a room with sounds we want to hear vs. a room with sounds we don't want to hear, but if those sounds ...


4

The location of a sound is defined on three dimensions: distance, elevation, and azimuth. When the distance between a listener and a sound source is changed there is a change in the overall level as well as the relative levels of direct and reverberant sound energy. When the elevation is changed the overall level and the direct to reverberant ratio say ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible