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About the Foundation

The Senses - Hearing

What is hearing all about? Noises surround us everywhere and all the time. Sounds consist of acoustic waves that are collected by the outer ear and amplified in the inner ear. Our cochlea is a membrane, i.e. a thin layer of skin, that transforms these acoustic waves into electrical impulses. We then register the sound via the vestibulocochlear nerve, which forwards the impulse to our brain. Food and drink also make sounds we can hear. Knock on a melon, for example, to hear a hollow sound that is a sign of its freshness. Or have you ever noticed how it sounds when you bite into a crunchy apple? You can also, for example, hear your crisp bread cracking while you eat it. In comparison with our other senses, however, our hearing has only a small part to play in our perception of taste.