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The left ear gives more positive sensations, and this is a mystery of science

If you want to whisper something in their ear, better do it on people's left side.

Neuroscientists from the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), the University Hospital of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland have discovered a strange distortion in our perception of pleasant voices. This finding was published in Frontiers of Neuroscience .

According to brain scans of 13 adults, positive human sounds, such as laughter, trigger stronger neural activity in the brain's auditory system when heard from the left side, suggesting that the human auditory cortex is specially tuned to the direction of sounds. sounds that make us happy.

The reason for this preference is unclear: the experiments focused only on changes in auditory cortex activity. How this change translates to the perception of those sounds is unknown and will need to be tested in future research.

That said, previous studies have shown that the left ear is more easily able to identify the emotional tone of someone's voice, suggesting an underlying specialization.

Because the left ear transmits information first to the right hemisphere of the auditory cortex, it was thought that the right side of the brain was better suited to processing emotion than the left side, but recent findings have disproved this hypothesis.

When study participants heard happy human vocalizations from three different directions — left, center or right — both sides of the auditory cortex activated.

Recordings heard only from the left side, however, elicited a much stronger neurological response.

“This doesn't happen when the positive vocalizations come from the front or the right,” explains EPFL neuroscientist Sandra da Costa.

"We also demonstrate that vocalizations with neutral or negative emotional valence, such as nonsense vocalizations or frightened screams, and sounds other than human vocalizations do not have this left-sided association."

The direction of a noise can obviously affect the quality of the sound – think of an ambulance siren heading towards you and then away. And it can also affect our perception.

Previous studies have shown that approaching sounds are often perceived as more threatening and exciting than receding sounds. Also, it has been shown that a person becomes more easily aroused when a sound comes from the shoulders.

Greater sensitivity to certain noises coming from certain directions has a broad evolutionary sense. A human's survival in past millennia would no doubt depend on being more suspicious of sounds approaching from behind.

But the leftward bias of emotion in human voices is not so easily explained.

Some brain functions are known to reside more on the left side of the brain than the right, and vice versa, but in this particular case that doesn't seem to explain the findings.

While the right hemisphere of the auditory cortex showed the strongest response to happy human voices in a region called L3, both sides of the brain were activated by the sounds in the experiments.

A small mystery which, however, can be useful in human relationships. Better to always whisper to the left

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The article The left ear gives more positive sensations, and this is a mystery of science comes from Economic Scenarios .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/lorecchio-sinistro-da-sensazioni-piu-positive-e-questo-e-mistero-della-scienza/ on Thu, 25 May 2023 11:32:23 +0000.