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What Happens When We Hear?

Sumner, Christian J.; Akeroyd, Michael A.; Sollini, Joseph; Hart, Caryl


Christian J. Sumner

Caryl Hart


What happens when we hear? Where does the sound go when it enters our ears? Our ears sense the vibrations of the air and convert them into electrical signals the brain can process. But that is only the start. The brain uses tens of thousands of nerve cells to hear even the quietest or simplest sound. With those nerve cells, the brain is solving a never-ending puzzle: figuring out what is going on in the world. To do that, the brain must separate out sounds that are occurring at the same time, recognize them, and describe them in lots of ways, such as how loud a sound is and where it is coming from. This article gives an overview of how the ears and brain work together, so we can live in a world of sound.


Sumner, C. J., Akeroyd, M. A., Sollini, J., & Hart, C. (in press). What Happens When We Hear?. Frontiers for Young Minds, 11, 1072364.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 26, 2023
Online Publication Date May 18, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 18, 2023
Journal Frontiers for Young Minds
Print ISSN 2296-6846
Electronic ISSN 2296-6846
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Pages 1072364
Keywords General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science
Public URL
Publisher URL


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