When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too

The eyes and ears team up to interpret the sights and sounds around us | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | Story via ScienceDaily

Simply moving the eyes triggers the eardrums to move too, even in the absence of sound, says a new study by neuroscientists. The findings provide new insight into how the brain coordinates what we see and what we hear. It may also lead to new understanding of hearing disorders, such as difficulty following a conversation in a crowded room.

The researchers found that keeping the head still but shifting the eyes to one side or the other sparks vibrations in the eardrums, even in the absence of any sounds.

Surprisingly, these eardrum vibrations start slightly before the eyes move, indicating that motion in the ears and the eyes are controlled by the same motor commands deep within the brain.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Full reference: Gruters, K. G. et al. | The eardrums move when the eyes move: A multisensory effect on the mechanics of hearing | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences |  published ahead of print January 23, 2018

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