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What role does the brain play in hearing?

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Your brain does more than tell you what you just heard -- which musical note it was, or which word, and so on. It sorts out the sounds by their relative importance. It helps tune out unimportant sounds, such as the flush of a toilet, the hum of the refrigerator, or the din in a restaurant, so that important sounds, like human voices, come through clearly. It's not that you don't hear unimportant sounds; rather, your brain makes sure you don't notice them as much as more important sounds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.