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How your ear changes sound

Description of the parts of the ear, and some sounds at different parts of the ear.
A human ear
© University of York
The diagram below shows a basic drawing of the ear.

The Human Ear Image Copyright: Duncan Williams 2013

The ear is basically split into three sections; the outer, middle and inner ear.

The outer ear is most prominently defined by the Pinna. The Pinna provides filtering which helps us to discriminate sound localisation. In other words – we can work out whether a sound is coming from above, below, in front or behind us.

It is possible to measure the filtering effect of the Pinna on the subsequent sounds which reach our ear drum.

Listen to this sound – recorded outside of the human ear.

Now listen to this sound – recorded just inside the ear canal.

This means that we are listening to the sound after it has been filtered (altered in its characteristics) by the Pinna.

Your thoughts?

Tell us what you think of the sound that is recorded just inside the ear. Did this surprise you? What does that tell you about what the brain does?

© University of York
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