Scientists from the University College of London found out why we cannot hear people talking to us when doing a visual task. This happens due to the fact that the senses of hearing and seeing have to share a limited resource of neurons.
When We Concentrate on Seeing, Our Hearing Ability Drops
In fact, we temporarily go deaf when paying full attention to completing a task requiring visual efforts, reported Science Daily.
Our receptors are unable to notice regular sounds because the neural resource is fully engaged with the visual mission. The study by UCL points out that the reason for that phenomena is in sharing the same required processing recourses in the neural structure of our brains.
In the study, 13 volunteers were required to perform a demanding visual assignment. Their brain response to sounds was found substantially lower during the test.
While testing people’s ability to detect sounds, it was also demonstrated that they failed more often to hear them, when engaged in their image-related project, even though they were perfectly capable of noticing such noises normally.
According to the researchers, people not simply filtered out the sounds but were unable to hear them in the first place, when concentrating on visuals.
The brain’s activity was measured in real time by MEG (magneto encephalography). It demonstrated that the phenomenon of “temporarily deafness” during visual concentration was real. People are not ignoring sounds but are indeed unable to perceive them.
The study’s authors, professor Nilli Lavie of UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Dr Maria Chait of UCL Ear Institute point out that unintentional deafness is a relatively common experience in daily life. Now we know what this happens.
For the same reason, if you are reading a book or playing on your phone, you may be unable to hear an arriving bus or an announcement to board your flight. Loud sounds, however, such as sirens, will be likely to get noticed.
- Want To Meet a True Companion? It’s a Sex Robot
- Men in Relationships Are Happier and Healthier, and Big Cities Make Us Miserable — Research
- Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Craig, And All Blue-Eyed People Are Related
- Preferred Age Difference in Long-Term Relationships and Marriages — Research