Class 7 - Hearing - Napa Valley College

Psychology 1100
Introduction to Psychology
Christopher Gade, PhD
Office: Bertrand 27
Office hours: MW 1:30-3:30 and by apt
Class MW 9:25-10:40 Angelico 226
The Other Senses: Hearing
The properties of sound and the
basics of the ear.
Listening Exercise
• Put your books, pens, pencils, phones, and all
other items down.
• Close your eyes.
• Listen!
• What is it that you’re hearing?
Life Without Hearing
• What are some of the things that we would
miss out on if we couldn’t hear?
• What are some of the things that we would
miss out on if we couldn’t see?
• Which would you rather lose, hearing or
vision? Why?
Is Hearing Physical or Perceptual?
• Physical Definition of Sound: A
change in pressure of the air
or other physical medium.
• Perceptual Definition of
Sound: An experience of
“sound waves” by the ear or
other perceptual medium.
• Sound Properties
– Sound Wave: A sudden change
in MOLECULE pressure
– Boat Example
More Properties of Sound
• Amplitude: The
concentration of
the air pressure.
Determines the
“loudness” of
the sound.
– Decibel =
(po= pressure
medium for air,
it = 20)
More Properties of Sound
• Frequency: The rate
of sound wave
Determines the
“pitch” of the
– Sound frequency
is measured by
Hertz (Hz). 1 Hz =1
cycle per second.
The Equal
Curve and
What’s the
button on
your stereo
The Ear, Our Sound Wave Detector
The Benefits of the Pinna Listening Task
1. Form a circle
2. Each of you will participate in this at least
3. Participating individuals need to…
1. Stand in the center of the group and close their
2. Locate an object based on its orientation (front,
back right, left), distance (close, far), and
properties (high, low)
1. Covering one ear
2. Covering your ears
3. Cupping your ears
Auditory Localization
How it works…
• Level/clarity differences
• Spectral cues
– Hoffman’s pinnae mold
– Surround sound implications
Another Cue…
• Visual Capture – our vision’s tendency to
dominate our mind’s interpretation of sound
The Inner Ear
A Closer Look at the Cochlear Duct
Moving on…
• In our next section, we’ll examine the topic of
touch… come to class awake and clean… this
will make better sense when we get going.