(Makeup for missed discussion on Sep. 29)
In the previous blog, avira001 discussed the different parts of the ear, more specifcally the pinna. With out a doubt, every part of our auditory system plays an important role in recieving, conducting, and ultamitly transmitting signals to our brain. The combination of the differnt structures such as the pinna in the outer ear, the eardrum in the middle ear, all the way to the inner hair folicles with in the Cochlea combine to give us an extensive auditory function.
Our auditory function is incredible. Humans can pick up on the slightest sounds such as the sound of a paper clip hitting the floor. In our primitive age, this was probably advantageous as it helped us react faster to potential predadors creeping up to attack us. However, today, our extensive hearing can sometimes be a nuisance, (especially when you are in the library trying to write a blog and someone is rustling their papers) as we are able to hear many distractions. Ear plugs do a good job blocking most sound waves, yet our auditory system is still capable of picking up the slightest of sounds.
At the University of Minnesota we are Driven to Discover. Imagine if we invented a device that could some how turn down the internal volume in our heads. Instead of amplifying sounds, like hearing aids do, we could decrease the amount of volume. This way we could sleep peacefully, while our roommates are blasting their music. What do you think?