Quick question on our ears | INFJ Forum

Quick question on our ears

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Radiantshadow, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    We are covering the five primary senses in my high school anatomy class and have covered the ears' anatomy and the pathway of sound waves. However, there are two things I don't understand that my normally brilliant teacher could not answer:

    1) Precisely how do sound waves change form through their journey into the ear? My understanding is that they enter as a wave, are recorded as waves of sound by the tympanum and amplified by three ossicles, travel through the vestibule's canals, enter the cochlea, become liquid, and vibrate Corti's organ to send a nervous impulse so our brain acknowledges the sound and we "hear" (a reflection of what actually entered our ears). I'm confused about how it goes from wave to liquid, then presumably back to wave once it leaves the cochlea. Anyone know the answer, or enough to tell me I misunderstood something?

    2) How does the ear discriminate between incoming sound waves? Massive amounts of data fly around in our surroundings and into our heads; I don't understand how a single organ can interpret the frequency differences between so many overlapping waves before they are sent to the brain for psychological recognition via neuron. It's like flinging a bunch of mixed up, half-broken chimes into a wind tunnel and somehow getting the music that is our hearing. Wtf?

    This is really bugging my brain, it is OCD in its' pursuit of the unknown.
    Many thanks to any who respond.


     
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    #1 Radiantshadow, Mar 20, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. jyrffw54

    jyrffw54 שכינה עוֹלֶה

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    This might give you some insight:

    [video=youtube;i_0DXxNeaQ0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_0DXxNeaQ0[/video]
     
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    Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    Ah. So air is just pushed around. That makes more sense...I must have misunderstood that part of what he said. I knew hairs bend and release chemicals for nerves, but not how the data got there.

    Sound is discriminated through experience alone? (If so, that certainly prompts the nurturing of nature to take over; maybe that is why infants cry among other crying infants, they identify the sound as them crying (the strongest memory they have of it) because they haven't learned "identity" yet and begin to cry, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

    Another question: how is it I can hear music that is only in my head? I am synesthesic and "see" it, sometimes so vividly that I will hear it without its' physical presence. Vi touched on the brain filling in gaps, which I'm familiar with, but not creating gaps to be filled for enjoyment, as it were.

    Wonderful response as usual, thank you @Serenity =)

    Edit about the brain filling in gaps:

    Is this a leading root of insanity? Insanity is difficult to define by nature because humans are complex and dynamic creatures, but it does not seem a far stretch from gap to, well, my final question's subject being expressed in all perceptual avenues. (Scary thought, as I have dealt with that before.)

    (Sorry for all the questions, I am very inquisitive)
     
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    #3 Radiantshadow, Mar 20, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  4. jyrffw54

    jyrffw54 שכינה עוֹלֶה

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    I wonder that alot myself. I have always been able to clearly hear music in my head since I could remember. I'm not sure how the mechanism works,exactly, but perhaps, it's like replaying a memory "picture perfect", but except with sound?
     
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    Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    That is what I have thought, too. I can replay notes and, for example, mentally change their key, tones, etc. (the ambiance) for new music (it can be really fun to draw out a measure's colors and visual design once I'm done with it ^.^) . Great companion to sleepless nights.
     
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  6. GracieRuth

    GracieRuth Permanent Fixture

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    When you hear a song in your head, the neurons that would normally "hear it" are activated, even though your ear is not.

    Okay, who started Vivaldi's Four Seasons?
     
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    Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    It's not just "in my head" in the normal, secondhand observer sense; it's actually there like it's being played in front of me. (Or like my brain is just replaying the music with the strength and vividness of a dream, now that I think about it; though I am never asleep when it happens. This has produced some curious thoughts.)

    I wonder why those neurons activate - do you have sources I could read through? This topic fascinates me, and I would like to learn precisely why I see musical notes and patterns in the air when music is played or I focus on a particular sound (it can be somewhat maddening). Criss-crossed input, of course, but that isn't satisfying enough.

    Four Seasons is nice, but this is more fun =)

    [video=youtube;AHVsszW7Nds]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHVsszW7Nds&feature=related[/video]
     
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  8. jyrffw54

    jyrffw54 שכינה עוֹלֶה

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    I think GracieRuth might be on to something. This isn't confirmed, but I think that it may have something to do with the temporal lobe (near the ear) having a closer proximity to the insula than to the frontal/occipital lobes, so the synapses that occur between the neurons occur quicker? It may just be in your brain chemistry to think in that manner, it's certainly in mine! For instance, I find it easier to remember something someone has said once than something that was shown to me once.
     
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    Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    I need to read up on the structures you mentioned, [MENTION=2873]Serenity[/MENTION], before I can comment. Know that I am, though, and that your and [MENTION=4576]GracieRuth[/MENTION] 's contributions are appreciated.
     
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  10. Matt3737

    Matt3737 Similes are like songs in love.

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    Sound is just the propagation of waves through a medium, whether it be a solid, liquid, or gas. It doesn't require any special transformation to go from a gaseous medium to a liquid medium, though the change in medium will change the properties of the perception of the sound.

    We tend to differentiate sound from physical sensations, but they are essentially the same. Pressure vibrations of a physical medium. The ear is also largely responsible for our ability to walk upright and maintain balance.

    [video=youtube_share;YFBrIVCasE4]http://youtu.be/YFBrIVCasE4[/video]
     
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