How You ‘Hear’ with Your Brain

The brain organizes all your perception

It’s a common belief that hearing is in the ears. However, your ears are only part of a transaction that begins with the source of sound and it’s delivery to your brain, where hearing actually takes place. It is a cognitive process that takes information acquired through your ears –  and your eyes – to build an internal representation of the world around you. While there is much talk about artificial intelligence, the reality is that the marvel is your human intelligence. With aural and visual information you can communicate with others, navigate through a 3D world, filter out noise (usually), and learn. In some cases, a hearing impairment may be neurological, not auditory – this is why an evaluation is important.

You’ve got a nerve.

Sound waves travel from the outer ear, through the middle ear to the inner ear where the vibrations stimulate thousands of tiny hair cells are converted to electrical signals. These are delivered via the auditory nerve to a region of the brain that interprets these signals as sound. The brain further separates sounds arriving from many ambient sources, for example, separating background noise from the speech of someone speaking with you.

What your brain does

You rely on different kinds of knowledge acquired over your lifetime to process the information you receive. These include including contextual cues and memory, which are critical in seemingly trivial everyday matters such as trying to hold a conversation in a noisy room. For people with impaired hearing, the brain works overtime.

Find out more. Schedule a free evalutaion.