extracts meaning from noise. Have you suddenly been able to understand someone with a thick accent or identify the lyrics in a song and felt like “your brain appear[ed] to be re-tuning to recognize speech that was previously incomprehensible”? The University of California at Berkeley reports that its “neuroscientists have now observed this re-tuning in action by recording directly from the surface of a person’s brain as the words of a previously unintelligible sentence suddenly pop out after the subject is told the meaning of the garbled speech.” Click the link to read more about this fascinating study.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class will blast pink noise at you just before an accident, to protect your ears. That’s right, in an effort to cut down on “hearing damage caused by the deafening crunch of a car crash,” Mercedes-Benz is going to “blast pink noise through the stereo when you’re about to hit something.” What will the pink noise do? It will “trigger a fascinating physical response…known as the acoustic reflex, or stapedius reflex – an involuntary muscle contraction in the middle ear that effectively dampens the vibrational energy that’s transferred to the cochlea.” Essentially, the reflex action will reflect some of the noise from a crash back through the ear drum, thus avoiding the inner ear. Click the link to learn more.