Who turned up the world?



I was chatting on Twitter back and forth with @seeingwithsound about the vOICe. My Twitter handle is @lobbyandlab if you’d like to join the conversation. I mentioned that my echo location seemed to have improved since I began working with the vOICe. @seeingwithsound replied that though it was only anecdotal evidence, he’d noticed that his sensitivity to subtle sounds seems to have increased.

Wherein it is still anecdotal evidence for you and the rest of the internet, it is direct evidence for me.

Quiet things seem to be subjectively louder. I’m not certain that’s an accurate way of phrasing it–what I do know is that I’ve been mildly surprised by a soft sound from time to time. It happened this morning when I rolled over in bed, and heard something that made me stop and go, what was that? It turned out just to be the sound of one blanket rubbing against the other, a sound that normally doesn’t intrude its way into my awareness. Another time I was unconsciously tapping my toe, and again, my focus was involuntarily drawn to the surprisingly loud seeming sound of my sock-clad foot moving around in my shoe.

Presumably, there has been an increase in the firing rate of some of my auditory nerves, or those that receive auditory nerve signals. I may also have formed more connections, so that more neurons are firing in concert for a given mild sonic stimulus.

I wonder if anyone has figured out how the brain judges the relative volume of sounds. I’ll have to look it up.


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