The Science of Sound

The process of sound traveling to the brain occurs almost instantaneously. It all starts with sound waves, which are compressing and expanding air molecules. Sound waves enter the ear and go through a process where they are converted to neural messages. Sound enters the ear through the outer ear. The sound waves are then sent to the ear drum, causing the ear drum to vibrate.

Next is the middle ear, in which the three smallest bones in the body (the hammer, anvil, and stirrup) send the vibrations to the cochlea. The cochlea is where transduction occurs, which is the shift of stimuli into neural impulses. These impulses are then sent to the brain to be interpreted.

Once the brain hears the sound, the most important part of the auditory process can begin: “listening.” This allows for you to make sense of the sounds you hear. 


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