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Teeth, dentistry, pain, and audio analgesia (but not pitch)

There is a different, obscure connection between our teeth
and what we hear, one that involves pain rather than pitch.

Apparently intense sound stimuli can have some analgesic effect,
such that dentists used "audio analgesia" to suppress pain.
(Anyone know of any frequency dependencies for this effect?)

Licklider once wrote a paper on a psychophysiological model of
audio analgesia:

Licklider, J. C.R. 1961. On psychophysiological models. In Sensory
Communication. Edited by W. A. Rosenblith. 49-72. New York: MIT
Press/John Wiley.

It sounds amazingly effective: 116 dB SPL "waterfall" sounds
apparently masked pain in 65% of 1000 dental patients (drilling,
grinding, extraction).

Ask for it next time you get your tune-up at the dentist.

Peter Cariani

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