Thursday, September 27, 2012

Noise Blindness

Hearing is our early warning system to new events, according to a new study. Researchers at the University College London's Ear Institute say their work shows we depend on sounds to alert us to things that are happening around us before we see them. In an effort to understand why hearing individuals take in some sounds and others are not noticed, they studied what people pay attention to when they are in busy environments. The Ear Institute team found listeners are pretty good at picking up on new sounds but don't pick up on noises as they are fading away. The scientists call this phenomenon "disappearance blindness". The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and details are here.