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Re: can't stop the music

Posted by Penelope on August 11, 2003, at 18:08:53

In reply to Re: can't stop the music, posted by Kacy on August 11, 2003, at 12:43:52

I was trying to learn something about ear anatomy today and found this intriguing passage, which I must share with all of you:

<Our ability to discriminate two close frequencies is actually much better than one would predict just from the mechanics of the basilar membrane. One theory to explain the mystery is that the outer hair cells help to "sharpen the tuning". Outer hair cells can actually move (change length) in response to nerve stimulation. If they could push the basilar membrane up and down, they could amplify or damp vibrations at will, making the inner hair cells more or less responsive. (Just like you can push a child higher and higher on a swing or bring her to a halt - it's all in when you push.) An interesting philosophical question here is, if the outer hair cells can move the basilar membrane, can that in turn move the oval window? And the stapes? And the eardrum? Can the ear, in fact, work in reverse and become a speaker? You may laugh, but there has been at least one case in the history of medicine of a patient complaining of persistent whispering in her ear. She was dismissed as crazy, until one obliging doctor finally put his stethoscope to her ear and listened. He could hear the whispering too. You can draw your own moral from this story.

However, most cases of tinnitus (a persistent ringing, whistling, or roaring in the ears) are not audible to the examiner. Little is known about the phenomenon, which is unfortunate because it can be very distressing to the sufferer.>

Funny that I found this today. Last night I was thinking: If this really is coming from my mind, then I must draw the seemingly nonsensical conclusion that I must be broadcasting as well as receiving, because I am totally convinced that I HEAR this music. It isn't something going through my mind like OCD's experience. It has direction, and I can feel the vibration of the bass notes, and I get goose bumps when the trumpet hits those high notes. I think that trumpet could shatter a crystal glass if I could turn the volume up. Also, I can completely cover it up with anything that is louder than *it* is, and *it* is not loud at all. Right now I have a Net radio station on, and I can only hear *it* in the brief moments between selections. If this were truly just a thought process, would it not intrude my mind even with other music playing?

Something else I haven't mentioned: I can sing along with it. I can sing counter to the melody and HEAR both parts as I sing. And usually my tempo is a little too slow, and they get ahead of me and I can HEAR that I am lagging and know when to step it up. I'm not much of a scientist, but this seems to prove to me that I really am...........HEARING it.




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