Temporary Blindness May Give You Superhuman Hearing

Losing your sight early in life is often said to heighten other senses, particularly hearing. A new study now shows that even a short, weeklong stint in complete darkness can result in superhuman hearing, at least temporarily. This suggests that a kind of darkness therapy may help restore hearing to adults suffering… » 2/07/14 1:15pm 2/07/14 1:15pm

There's a big difference between hearing and listening. Do you know what it is?

What is the difference between hearing and listening? According to auditory neuroscientist Seth S. Horowitz, the answer is attention. Hearing, he explains in a recent NY Times op-ed, is a passive action, an ever-engaged sense that is capable of not just perceiving, but triggering a reaction to, outside stimuli several… » 11/15/12 7:05am 11/15/12 7:05am

10 Limits to Human Perception ... and How They Shape Your World

Every human has limits. You can only run so fast, jump so high, and go for so long without water. But what about restrictions upon our five senses, those tools that we use to perceive and understand our surroundings? Here are ten limitations on human perception that have a direct impact on how we understand the world. » 7/17/12 10:26am 7/17/12 10:26am

Deaf people use the hearing parts of their brain to sense touch

It's often said that when you lose one sense you heighten the others — and now we have scientific evidence to back it up. New research published in the Journal of Neuroscience has shown that people who are born deaf process the sense of touch differently than people who are born with normal hearing. » 7/11/12 1:35pm 7/11/12 1:35pm

Lifelong musicians can understand you better at noisy parties

Remember the last time you were at a noisy party — the kind of party where you have trouble understanding what the person next to you is saying? Scientists call this the "cocktail party problem," and use it to describe the difficulty that humans have understanding speech in the presence of background noise. » 9/13/11 5:00pm 9/13/11 5:00pm

Genetically-Engineered Hairs Improve the Human Ear

As humans age, their hearing naturally grows less acute because they begin to lose tiny sensory hairs (pictured, magnified) in their inner ears that convert sound waves into neurological signals. But now scientists have figured out how to genetically-engineer the cells that generate these sensory hairs. This is a… » 8/27/08 2:02pm 8/27/08 2:02pm