Hidden Hearing Responds to Study Which Reveals the Worst Noises

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Private hearing healthcare solutions provider, Hidden Hearing, has responded to a survey which has revealed the most hated noise.

This research provides some interesting insight into the emotional effects of certain noises. It also highlights how important it is to look after ears as they play a large role in protecting from danger and awareness of the surrounding area.

The study tested thirteen volunteers and their reaction to seventy-four recordings while they had their brain activity measured by an MRI scanner.

A knife on a glass bottle was determined the worst noise, followed by a fork on glass, chalk on a blackboard, ruler on a bottle then nails on a chalkboard. A female scream and baby crying also featured within the top ten worst noises.

The MRI scans revealed that unpleasant sounds provoked a stronger response in the brain than pleasant sounds such as the noise of bubbling water.

Sounds are processed in the brain’s auditory cortex, with uncomfortable noises activating the amygdala, a different part of the brain that processes emotions. The amygdala then takes charge of activity in the auditory cortex which makes humans more sensitive to the noise.
The unpleasant sounds fell between the frequency of 2000 and 5000 Hz, the range in which ears are the most sensitive and noises are hardest to bare. The researchers believe the sensitivity harks back to a primitive humans and the association of high pitched noises with danger.

A spokesperson from Hidden Hearing said:

“This research provides some interesting insight into the emotional effects of certain noises. It also highlights how important it is to look after ears as they play a large role in protecting from danger and awareness of the surrounding area. Hidden Hearing provides free, no obligation hearing tests so people can be sure their hearing is up to scratch and provide solutions if a hearing problem is discovered.”

With more than 40 years’ experience in treating hearing loss, Hidden Hearing is entrusted with the care of thousands of people each year. The firm has 84 hearing centres across the UK, all catering for a range of needs and budgets. Specialising in hearing tests and hearing aids, the company also offer a variety of hearing aid accessories and in 2005, became the first dedicated hearing retailer to be recognised as an Investor in People.

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Vicky Moore
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