"Hear past the ears": unusual ways of perceiving sound

Every living creature perceives the surrounding information through the senses: someone has more of them, someone has less, but every body has “sensors” that receive signals and redirect them to the brain. It is believed that the sound is perceived by man (and the bulk of other living beings) through the ears.

But there are alternative ways, which we will discuss in this article.

Photo of Caninest CC

Beethoven method

The well-known paradox: the greatest composer who gave the world brilliant symphonies suffered from inflammation of the inner ear, which subsequently led to deafness. However, this did not prevent Beethoven from composing his masterpieces - the composer applied a wooden cane with one end to the piano deck and took the other end in his teeth. Vibrations from the music passed through the jaw to the inner ear.

In fact, the composer used the bone conduction phenomenon: it is a technology for transmitting sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull, it is widely used to help people with hearing impairments. But more recently, bone conduction is used not only in medicine: for example, Rostec told that they will soon release a special headset for soldiers, which will be mounted on the warrior’s temples and will allow you to hear surrounding sounds through the ears, and bone conduction.

The company aftershokz produces a whole series of headphones based on bone conduction technology: the creators of the gadget believe that "free ears" will allow better control of the situation, for example, while driving.

Nabokov method

Vladimir Nabokov had the ability, which is a rather controversial phenomenon. Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which the perception of information through one sense organ leads to a response in another. A writer, for example, could see letters and numbers in a certain color. That is, each character was associated with a specific color and shade, it is a kind of grapheme-color synesthesia.

But there are people who can see the sounds - this is chromostetics. For people who possess this gift, every sound, whether it be a car alarm or a crow's crow, causes a color association. Such people, when listening to music, experience a sense of colors in addition to the auditory sensations, but this perception is complementary and does not cover the information coming from other organs. Synesthetes do not make efforts to use their ability, it is for them - part of everyday life, like sight and hearing.

Kinesthetic-auditory synesthesia is another type in which a person can “hear” the movement of objects, flashes and vibrations. That is, even if the object does not produce any sounds while moving, the synesthet can “hear” it.

The least common among synesthetes is a sound-tactile type associated with sound. Sounds cause a response in various parts of the body from its owners. At the end of this article there is a table in which all types of natural synesthesia and the states through which they manifest are presented.

Pathology or superpower

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario discovered a person’s ability to hear with the eyes. Scientists have studied the phenomenon of hearing loss in the blind and vision in the deaf. It turned out that the function of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for the auditory perception, remains unchanged in such people, but switches to another organ of perception. It is not yet clear whether this ability is maintained in case the hearing is restored.

At the California Institute of Technology, they went even further: they decided to study synesthetes that have an acoustic-tactile variety of synesthesia. So, one of the subjects complained that the computer screen saver was “whistling,” and that the sound was gone, she turned away. Another synesthet said that he hears sounds while watching the flight of a moth, and jerky movements sound like clicks.

Some physiologists attribute these abilities to the fact that such people are too close to the areas of the cerebral cortex that are responsible for "deciphering" the signals from various organs of perception. Others see this as a “signal error” from information entering the brain. This signal, instead of getting to the area where the information is decoded in its entirety, gets into different parts of the brain, where the sound and the visual part are processed separately from each other.

In any case, it is already becoming clear that a person can hear not only with his ears, and synesthesia is not a pathology. Neuroscientists consider it to be an overdeveloped perceptual ability, and now, thanks to all this research, it has become possible to identify more synesthetes and even create their community in order to study them even better.

Listen to your feelings, maybe among you there are people with supernormal abilities?

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/404601/

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