How to pick out a voice in the crowd

20 October 2017


Imagine it’s a Friday night, you’re in the pub it’s and really noisy. Your friend though is telling a great story, and you really want to hear it. But how do you separate their voice from the din going on around you? Scientists at Imperial College have sussed out the answer. There are feedback loops between the brain where we become consciously aware of sounds, and the brainstem where the sound signals first enter the nervous system from the ears. This enables us to tune the system to filter out the noises we don’t want to listen to. Katie Haylor spoke to Tobias Reichenbachn from Imperial College London.


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