The Looking Glass

Filed under Showcase, STEM

Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 Have you ever tuned out the doorbell or the phone ringing because you were absorbed in a book or video game? That’s due to selective hearing, a common phenomenon that affects many individuals. This occurs when one unconsciously blocks out something when interacting with a stimulus that the brain has chosen to focus on.

Selective hearing is caused by our brains’ limited ability to process information, i.e. being unable to process two stimuli at once.  Our brain chooses to selectively focus on certain stimuli. This could be good when interacting with a person and paying attention to him or her, but can be dangerous when blocking out noises such as important alarms and traffic.  The brain uses selective hearing more when multitasking. Therefore, multitasking should be avoided in order to focus our full attention on each task at hand.

Selective hearing is found in the auditory cortex of the human brain.  In an experiment conducted in the University of California San Francisco by Dr. Edward Chang and colleagues, it was found that people exhibited selective hearing when asked to focus on one of two speakers.  Researchers found that the patients’ neural responses in the auditory cortex only responded to the speaker they were asked to focus on. It was as if the second speaker wasn’t even there. Our brains focus on sounds and words we want to hear; this is why we become oblivious to background conversations until we hear our name mentioned.  It’s part of the human condition.

 

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Sports

    Should You Join an Athletic Team?

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Humor

    Best Food on the Avenue! (Episode 2)

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    School News

    My Really Great-Grandmother

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Humor

    Best Food on the Avenue! (Episode 1)

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Opinion

    Middle Child Syndrome: The Woes of being a 10th Grader

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    STEM

    Did You Yawn After Seeing this Picture? Find out Why!

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    School News

    SKA’s Journey Through Production

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    School News

    Meet SKA’s Fab New Staff!

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Fashion

    Looks for Less

  • Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?

    Sports

    Taking a Knee in the World of Sports

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls
Do You Only Hear What You Want to Hear?