Introduction to Hearing

What you’ll learn to do: explain the basics of hearing

Picture from a rock concert. A band plays on the stage with blue and purple lights shining down. Fans raise their hands in the audience.

Our auditory system converts pressure waves into meaningful sounds. This translates into our ability to hear the sounds of nature, to appreciate the beauty of music, and to communicate with one another through spoken language. This section will provide an overview of the basic anatomy and function of the auditory system. It will include a discussion of how the sensory stimulus is translated into neural impulses, where in the brain that information is processed, how we perceive pitch, and how we know where sound is coming from.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the basic anatomy and function of the auditory system
  • Show how physical properties of sound waves are associated with perceptual experience
  • Explain how we encode and perceive pitch and localize sound
  • Describe types of hearing loss


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