Invisible Noises and The Ear

Invisible Noises and The Ear


            There are four types of nonvisual senses, or as I like to call them, unseen senses.  These include hearing, taste, smell, and touch.  Out of these four, I will deal with hearing.  The first question would be, what is sound?  Well, a sound is a vibration in the air and when hit against the bones in your ear they create action potential sent to the brain forming a sound.  In more detail sound is made up of vibrations and they cause air particles to vibrate creating sound waves through the air.  Sound waves come in many different shapes.  The two ways to identify a sound wave is by the amplitude and the frequency.  Frequency is the volume of waves that pass a certain point at a given time frame.  High pitched sounds are the result of shorter waves moving in and out quickly and a fewer amount of slower waves creates a lower pitch.  The loudness of the sound is a result of the amplitude.  When there is a greater amplitude the sound is louder and the smaller is amplitude the softer the sound is.  For these vibrations to reach the brain so you know what the sound is and understand it.  They have to go through the ear.  Your ear has three areas, the external, middle, and inner ear.  The external and middle ear are only involved with hearing while the inner ear involves hearing and maintaining your equilibrium.  The main job for your outer ear is to catch sound waves and send them down to the inner ear.  Once the sound waves get to the eardrum they are passed around to amplify the sound waves so they are stronger when they enter the inner ear.  The sound waves have to be strong enough to move the liquid in the inner ear.  In the inner ear, the vibrations are turned into electrical impulses that the brain can identify.  The inner ear is also where the maintaining of your equilibrium happens.  Once the sound waves get through the inner ear they pass through the cochlear nerve up to the auditory pathway and lastly to the auditory cortex.


            Hearing can be used in everyday life.  It is and always will be used in everyday life.  When a person wakes up to the sound of birds chirping or the annoying sound of their alarm clock, the vibrations are being processed from the outer ear on to the auditory cortex without them even thinking about it.  As their day goes on and they are driving to work, they turn the radio on to catch the daily news or even listen to the latest pop song.  So many soundwaves are being processed into the brain without them even trying.  Their equilibrium is being maintained throughout the ear helping them realize what is up and what is down.  Without this, they would have no sense of direction.  The ears play so many roles in the everyday life of humans and even animals.


            If the people and scientists in today’s society had no knowledge of how the ear worked and what its purpose was, many people could get injured or even worse.  With the knowledge that we have on the ear and how it works, we know the weaknesses of it and are more knowledgeable about protecting it.  Due to our knowledge we know about the functions of the ear, how sound waves travel across them, why we hear different frequencies of sounds, perceiving sounds, and locating sounds.  Without this, someone could seriously mess up the way they walk and even how humans evolve.  Knowing about the functions of the ear only helps the way humans evolve and our abilities to learn more.


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