London: Human brain is better at hearing new and approaching sounds than detecting when a sound disappears, according to a new study. Researchers at the University College London Ear Institute wanted to try and understand what makes certain sounds easily detectable while others go unnoticed. They created artificial `soundscapes` composed of different on-going sounds and asked listeners to detect the onset or disappearance of different sound-objects within the melee. Overall, the team found that listeners were remarkably tuned to detecting new sounds around them but were much less able to detect when a sound disappears. In busy sound environments, the participants missed more than half of the changes occurring around them and the changes that were detected involved much longer reaction times.
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