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4 Factors That Make Our Body React To Unpleasant Sounds

Do Sounds such as nails scratching a blackboard or a spoon hitting a glass make you cringe or react in way to supress the sound? These noises are unpleasant to many people, all over the world and there is not evident reason for this! We learn in school about the five senses, but what we do not learn is that the hidden senses in our brain are responsible for these responses. Several studies were made to identify the subjacent reason for these responses and below we have some discoveries.


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Studies show that the shape of our ear canals may be one of the reasons by which we find certain sound annoying. The ear canals evolved to amplify sounds that are important to communication and survival. Metal being scratched and other sounds equally unpleasant may be consider just a side effect of this evolution.


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Some studies suggest that these annoying sounds are vaguely related to survival instincts. The human brain perceive these sounds as a sign of distress or danger and that is why we respond physically to it. For example, people used to these sounds can save a baby earlier than people who are not used to it can. Surprisingly, some people who were not completely aware of these sounds before did not find them annoying when hearing it for the first time.


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A study was made exposing people to different types of frequencies and unpleasant sounds. The monitoring was through a functional magnet resonance. The results suggest that there was an increase on the interaction between the part of the brain responsible for the hearing (auditory cortex) and the part that perceive the emotions (amygdala), after being exposed to unpleasant sounds. This is a possible signal of anguish fromthe amygdala to the auditory cortex. The rate of interaction was also proportional to the level of dislike that the subject felt towards the sound.


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In rare occasions, the reaction to unpleasant sounds can also indicate a health problem. It can be related to emotional disorder, migraine, ear buzzing, misophonia and autism (development disorder that challenges the subject capacity to communicate and interact). Reference: