What happens to those beautiful sounds that you hear?

Our ears are incredible organs that not only allow us to hear everything from others speaking, to music, birdsong and the crashing of waves on the rocks, but also helps us to retain our balance. But in order for us to make sense of the soundwaves that enter our ears we need the connection between our auditory organs and various areas of our brain to work in tandem with each other. The sounds that we hear have the ability to produce strong emotions such as a feeling of joy or sadness and can also affect our behaviour. This is why you will find stores playing music as it is a way of increasing the positive shopping experience for their customers. Music for business is an incredible way to connect with your customers. For more information on how this works take a look at https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business

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The ear is essentially made up of three parts, the outer ear, the ear drum and the inner ear.  The outer ear essentially helps to funnel the soundwaves down into the inner ear. Next is the eardrum which is the barrier between the outer and inner ear areas. When soundwaves hit the eardrum they cause it to vibrate, which in turn causes the tiny bones of the ear to vibrate and carry the sound down into the inner ear. The inner ear is where the soundwaves are translated into electrical impulses which are carried down the ear canal by tiny hairs. These electrical impulses travel down the auditory nerve and into the brain where they are then interpreted.

The auditory nerve ends at the auditory cortex which is located at either side of the brain. Again, this cortex essentially works in three different parts:

Primary – processing the overall sound, volume and pitch

Secondary – processing the patterns of harmony, melody and rhythm

Tertiary – processing everything combined together to create the overall musical experience.

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It is by processing these bits of information that we then recognise the sound and any feelings, emotions and visualisations that may go along with it. Sound is one of the most powerful senses for evoking strong emotions. It is why your cat or dog may run away when they hear the hoover being turned on or why they come running to you when they hear their food bowl being filled. Equally it is why certain sounds can produce a feeling a of joy or even a feeling of sadness.

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