Sound engineers are trying to figure out how people can focus in a single speaker while tuning out other talkers in a t crowded, noisy room. This is known as the "cocktail party effect."
"Watching" the brain in action with fMRI machines reveals that the representation of speech in the cortex does not reflect the entire external acoustic environment but instead just what we really want or need to hear.
One of the joys of this season is listening to Christmas carols, but some of our brave soldiers are returning from war with a special problem: deafness. Researchers haven’t solved the deafness problem yet, but they are working to get soldiers used to the sounds of battle. Inside a non-descript, soundproof building on the south side of town, Missouri researchers are building an audio battlefield, complete with the sounds of tanks, ordinance, gunfire, shouting and helicopters, in an effort to better prepare soldiers for combat.