Emerging Science Note/Infrasound
Living on Earth’s Cynthia Graber reports on research showing that extremely low sound vibrations called infrasound may lead to strange emotional and physical responses.
CURWOOD: Just ahead: The irony in a bridge that may disconnect a people from their culture. First, this Note on Emerging Science from Cynthia Graber.
[EMERGING SCIENCE THEME]
GRABER: An odd feeling in the pit of your stomach. A sense that someone is watching you. Chills down your spine. Scientists say these often-inexplicable emotions might that e explained by infrasound.
Infrasound is extreme low frequency sound played at levels most human can’t hear. To test the effects on infrasound on humans, a team of scientists in England used a pipe to create a twenty-hertz tone. Then, they reproduced the tone during a concert, mixing it in and out of the contemporary music being played on stage. Almost a quarter of the 750 people in the audience reported strange feelings during the pieces that included infrasound, such as a sensation of sorrow or fear, or getting chills.
Scientists don’t know exactly how infrasound causes these responses. The psychologist on the team says emotional responses might occur when the brain tries to interpret low frequency sounds. Volcanoes and earthquakes, for example, make infrasound when active. But to understand why some people have physical responses, such as feeling hot or cold sensations, the researchers have invited a physiologist to join the continuing study.
That’s this week’s Note on Emerging Science. I’m Cynthia Graber.
[EMERGING SCIENCE THEME]
CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.
[MUSIC: Various Artists “Til’ The Morning Comes” PICKIN ON NEIL YOUNG – A TRIBUTE (No Label)]
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth