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Articles on Hearing

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Headphone designers have to balance scientific limitations with human preferences. Vladimir Godnik via Getty Images

Great headphones blend physics, anatomy and psychology – but what you like to listen to is also important for choosing the right pair

There is a lot to consider when buying a new pair of headphones. A professional musician and acoustics researcher explains how the science of sound and quirks of human hearing make for a great listening experience.
Fossils of Shuvuuia deserti depict a small predatory creature with exceptional night vision and hearing. Mick Ellison/American Natural History Museum

Nocturnal dinosaurs: Night vision and superb hearing in a small theropod suggest it was a moonlight predator

By looking at the eye bones and ear canals of extinct dinosaurs, researchers show that a small ancient predator likely hunted at night and had senses as good as a modern barn owl.
No smell, no touch: People line up in Prague, Czech Republic, to get tested for the coronavirus. Getty/Gabriel Kuchta

Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic

All of the senses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, not because the senses have changed, but because the world has, writes a sensory historian.
Imagine this with a sound track – sunset near Turtle Rock, Joshua Tree National Park. NPS / Hannah Schwalbe

Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change

From bird songs to wind patterns, sound is a key but often underappreciated element of natural places. Learning how to listen to nature can alert us to changes in the environment before we see them.

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