Tag Archives | hearing

Scientists Create Bionic Ear With Superhuman Range Of Frequency Hearing

bionic ear

Wearing a pair of these in the modern urban environment sounds torturous. Via Science Daily:

Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear.

“This field has the potential to generate customized replacement parts for the human body, or even create organs containing capabilities beyond what human biology ordinarily provides,” the researchers wrote.

The ear in principle could be used to restore or enhance human hearing. Electrical signals produced by the ear could be connected to a patient’s nerve endings, similar to a hearing aid. The current system receives radio waves, but the research team plans to incorporate other materials, such as pressure-sensitive electronic sensors, to enable the ear to register acoustic sounds.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why Some People See Sound

The senses are more intermingled than we realize — what we hear influences what we think we see, Live Science writes:

Some people may actually see sounds, say researchers who found this odd ability is possible when the parts of the brain devoted to vision are small.

Scientists took a closer look at the sound-induced flash illusion. When a single flash is followed by two bleeps, people sometimes also see two illusory consecutive flashes. They found the smaller a person’s visual cortex was — the part of the brain linked with vision — the more likely he or she experienced the illusion. On average, the volunteers saw the illusion 62 percent of the time.

“The visual brain’s representation of what hits the eye is very efficient but not perfect — there is some uncertainty to visual representations, especially when things happen quickly, like the rapid succession of flashes in the illusion,” de Haas said.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Enhanced Glasses Allow The Deaf To See Visualizations Of Sounds

Hopefully additional synesthetic devices such as smell-o-vision spectacles are in the pipeline as well. New Scientist writes:

If you can hear, you probably take sound for granted. Without thinking, we swing our attention in the direction of a loud or unexpected sound – the honk of a car horn, say.

Because deaf people lack access to such potentially life-saving cues, a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon built a pair of glasses which allows the wearer to “see” when a loud sound is made, and gives an indication of where it came from.

An array of seven microphones, mounted on the frame of the glasses, pinpoints the location of such sounds and relays that directional information to the wearer through a set of LEDs embedded inside the frame. The glasses will only flash alerts on sounds louder than a threshold level, which is defined by the wearer.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Museum Of Endangered Sounds

How do we preserve the fabric of everyday life from other eras? The online Museum of Endangered Sounds is a marvelous emporium of aural preservation, simulating what being alive in the 1990s sounded like, with tones unheard for years available for listening. Creator Brendan Chilcutt explains:

I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered.

My ten-year plan is to complete the data collection phase by the year 2015, and spend the next seven years developing the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition.

Read the rest

Continue Reading