Re: 'pressure at the ears' visiting an anechoic chamber (Al Bregman )

Subject: Re: 'pressure at the ears' visiting an anechoic chamber
From:    Al Bregman  <bregman(at)HEBB.PSYCH.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Fri, 23 Oct 1998 13:14:51 -0400

Dear Ronald and list, My guess is that this feeling of pressure is an association set up via learning. The only way that people would normaly get such an low level of sound as is experienced in an anechoic chamber (which is also, typically, a sound-isolated chamber) is when they pressed the heels of their hands firmly against their ears. I would imagine that most children have done this. In this situation, the attenuation is accompanied by actual pressure. When you go in and out of the acechoic chamber many times, you are undoing the correlation between pressure and sound attenuation, so the experience of pressure goes away. Incidentally, the first time I entered an ordinary double walled sound-attenuating chamber I had the same feeling. Al ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Albert S. Bregman, Professor, Dept of Psychology, McGill University 1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1B1. Phone: +1 514-398-6103 Fax: -4896 Email: bregman(at) Lab Web Page: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, dr. R.M. Aarts wrote: > Dear readers, > > When visitors enter -for the first time- our (rather large) anechoic > chamber, they are always complaining about the strange 'pressure at > their ears'. Similar as listening to 'much out of phase' signals in ... McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8d on Windows NT). Information is available on the WEB at

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