How your hearing detects moving sounds

No, the scientific consensus so far has been based on an analysis of the movements our eyes made with him. But a team led by Professor José García Useda Calvo (University of Rovera e Virgili, Tarragona) took a different approach and according to them more precisely: what if we did not take the eye but rather the head movements as a guideline? They applied it to people who had to signal in a dark room as they placed random noises in space.

The results indicate that our auditory system performs the same way as our visual system: it does not rely on discrete changes to the sound source, but rather actively tracks the speed at which it is moving. In short, at the level of our brains, our ears do not need our eyes to “see” a train traveling behind a row of houses or trees.

Hidden patterns

Additionally, over the course of the experiment, the ability of people to do this increased. Which indicates, according to the researchers, that their auditory system independently picked up hidden patterns in the sound pathways and started making predictions about where they’re headed.

In everyday practice, this can be important for the hard of hearing, says Professor García-Ucida Calvo: “ It is well known that people with hearing aids have difficulty distinguishing sounds from one another in crowded environments. A better understanding of how our hearing system works is of great importance for improving hearing support technology.

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