June 7

New scientific research suggests that human hearing may have evolved from our sense of touch.

As reported in the current issue of ScienceNews:

“[The] connection between sound and touch may run deep [Tony Ro, a neuroscientist at the City College of New York] and colleagues said during presentations May 25 at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Both hearing and touch, the scientists pointed out, rely on nerves set atwitter by vibration. A cell phone set to vibrate can be sensed by the skin of the hand, and the phone’s ring tone generates sound waves — vibrations of air — that move the eardrum.

“Elizabeth Courtenay Wilson, a neuroscientist…has also seen strong connections between areas of the brain that process hearing and touch. ‘We’re suggesting that the ear evolved out of the skin in order to do more finely tuned frequency analysis,’ adds Wilson, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.”

It has long been speculated that hearing, across all species, evolved out of the ability of fish to sense their environment through sound waves.  So it is reasonable to consider that the human sense of hearing evolved from touch, as well.

For the full article at ScienceNews, visit http://bit.ly/jChqzB

And if you’d like information on how fish hear sounds, visit the excellent article at http://bit.ly/kHv3nW