for a complete beginner's intro to the fascinating world of neuroscience.
Welcome to auditoryneuroscience.com.
This site contains sound examples, color figures, animations, links and other materials to support the study of auditory phenomena.
Our very brief introduction for lay people to the science of speaking and hearing speech.
Our ears are our gateway to the world - and to each other.
A little interactive demo to illustrate the role formants play in vowel sounds.
The "McGurk Effect" illustrates that what our eyes see can influence what we hear. The video here below shows Prof Patricia Kuhl's demonstration of this effect. She is mouthing the syllables /ga-ga/, but the video has been dubbed with a sound track of her saying /ba-ba/. Your eyes can tell that the lips are not closed at the beginning of the syllables, and they therefore tell your brain that the syllable cannot be /ba/, even though in reality it is.
This movie is from the website of the Speech Production and kNowledge Group (SPAN) at the University of Southern California. It shows the vocal tract of a young lady, imaged with magnetic resonance technology, while she talks about her love of music.
Since the amplitude, and hence the mechanical energy, of airborne sounds is tiny, the cochlea mechanically amplifies the incoming vibrations. The motors which supply this mechanical amplification are the outer hair cells. Like inner hair cells, they use stretch receptors associated with the stereocilia at their tips to sense vibrations and convert them to electrical currents. But only in outer hair cells are these currents used to control length changes which parallel, and reinforce, the incoming mechanical vibration.