Science Questions

Why does the sound of nails on a chalk board get such a physical reaction from us?

Sun, 8th Jun 2008

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show The Real Ithaca and the Secrets of the Odyssey

Question

Genevieve, USA asked:

Why does the sound of nails on a chalk board get such a physical reaction from us?

Answer

Itís horrible, isnít it?  The reason for this is not 100% known but there is a hypothesis.  The idea is that the kind of frequencies that you get when you get the fingernails-down-the-blackboard experience is similar to the kind of frequencies that animals release when theyíre in distress.  Itís a kind of distress signal and therefore we are pre-programmed or galvanised into action by those particular choice of frequencies.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Genetics Society
STFC
ipDTL