Your Eyes, Your Ears, Your Brain–Oh my!!

By: Tina C. Davidson

Brain_ears_eyes_communicationThe unearthing of previously unknown information about how our brain/body functions fascinates me.

So, I was pretty intrigued when I saw the following article title in The Atlantic by Ed Yong:

When Your Eyes Move, So Do Your Eardrums

… and no one knows why.

Well, eventually someone will try to figure out the “why,” but until then at least we know that when your eyes move, so do your eardrums. Right?

They also found that the eardrums start to wobble about 10 milliseconds before the eyes. This suggest that the ears aren’t reacting to what’s happening in the eyes. Instead, Groh says, “the brain is saying: I am about to move the eyes; ears, get ready.”

That is some pretty fast communication between the brain and the ears (0.01 seconds–wowzers–that’s like spidey-sense).

For a closer look at this study, you can check out, “The eardrums move when the eyes move: A multisensory effect on the mechanics of hearing.” (Here’s the link Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State of America.)

I’ll leave you with this quote from The Atlantic to ponder.

“This suggests that there are no safe spaces in the brain,” Groh says. “One sensory system is influenced by another right at the point where the physical energy is first detected.”

Don’t let it keep you up at night–that part about there being “no safe places in the brain.”

We can’t always comprehend how the brain functions, but we know that the brain is pretty amazing.

Obviously, I’m a fan.

Sources:

The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/when-your-eyes-move-so-do-your-eardrums/551237/

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

http://www.pnas.org/content/115/6/E1309

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Filed under Learning, Neuroscience, Uncategorized

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