Human sound processing begins with the ear, which converts sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. In the brain, these signals are processed and analyzed to extract information about the sound’s characteristics, such as pitch, volume, and location. This information is then integrated with other sensory inputs to create our perception and understanding of the sound.
It is especially important to understand the sound processing in terms of noise. Unpleasant noise enters the ears and activates the stress detection center in the brain, known as the amygdala. This triggers a series of reactions in the body, including an overproduction of cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals by the endocrine system. Additionally, the sympathetic nervous system becomes hyperactivated, resulting in an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and the release of inflammatory cells. These long-term changes can lead to inflammation, hypertension, and the accumulation of plaque in arteries, raising the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.