Pure silence.

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello,

How can one go about acquiring an effect of soundlessness on the brain? For example, as earplugs are to hearing capacity, the affect would be on the mind and brain.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,078
6,049
Stop thinking
 
  • #3
What? That implies that I would be dead or in sleep.
 
  • #4
With reference to the likeness in post #1, the affect on the mind and brain would be greater than that of the earplugs on the mind and brain, or hearing capacity.
 
  • #5
Bobbywhy
Gold Member
1,722
49
Etherialist.18, Can you be more specific? Your question is not worded so clearly and so members here are having difficulty giving meaningful responses.

Are you asking what would happen if the mind/brain was deprived of all stimulus? This is known as "sensory deprivation" and a Google search brings up many examples. If yes, then why not list those mechanisms that serve to stimulate the brain? Then research each one, and the effects on the brain of "turning it off"?

If this is not what you are asking about, please try again.

Bobbywhy
 
  • #6
meBigGuy
Gold Member
2,323
405
  • #7
Etherialist.18, Can you be more specific? Your question is not worded so clearly and so members here are having difficulty giving meaningful responses.

Are you asking what would happen if the mind/brain was deprived of all stimulus? This is known as "sensory deprivation" and a Google search brings up many examples. If yes, then why not list those mechanisms that serve to stimulate the brain? Then research each one, and the effects on the brain of "turning it off"?

If this is not what you are asking about, please try again.

Bobbywhy
No, I do not mean to sensory deprivation. In other words, I mean a taking away of sound from the external, and possibly internal, environment of the individual. For example, a unique head-set that I would wear that blocks sounds - though, I'd still see visuals, see my environment etc.
 
  • #8
CWatters
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
10,529
2,295
Perhaps...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_block

However further googling found...

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100824155501AAQogI8

The auditory nerve is the 8th Cranial Nerve. It feeds directly from the inner ear into the brain. I can think of no reason nor method to anesthetize this specific nerve without risking brain damage and possible deafness. Of course, general anesthesia would anesthetize the 8th Cranial nerve by anesthetizing the portion of the brain aware of stimulation of the inner ear. The brain would still be aware on a subconscious level that there were sounds coming in, but the portion of the brain to interpret what those sounds were would not be awake to be aware of the stimulation, nor to interpret it.
 
  • #9
CWatters
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
10,529
2,295
For example, a unique head-set that I would wear that blocks sounds
It's very hard to totally block sound. Ear defenders work to an extent but very loud sounds don't just go in through the ear, they physically shake/vibrate the whole body.
 
  • #10
Bobbywhy
Gold Member
1,722
49
Just Google "noise cancelling headphones".
 
  • #11
I have those already. Would gun ear muffs be better? I'd like a tool to block all sound frequencies etc.
 
  • #12
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
I have those already. Would gun ear muffs be better? I'd like a tool to block all sound frequencies etc.
When you're wearing sound-cancelling headphones, what do you hear?
 
  • #13
UltrafastPED
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,912
216
You can experience the real thing by visiting an anechoic chamber.

They are used in research projects with sound; you may find one at your local university - look for a professor who specializes in acoustics; they will know.
 
  • #14
meBigGuy
Gold Member
2,323
405
I don't understand what you were originally asking about, in that you inferred your requirement was different than earplugs.

That said:
Consumer grade active noise cancelling headphones have their place, but are not really all that quiet.

The highest rated earmuffs are around 33dB (NRR) ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00117XML0/?tag=pfamazon01-20 ) , and earplugs go to 33dB. Supposedly wearing them both only gains you, like, 10dB more.

Remember there is sound conduction through your mouth and skull also.

Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.
 
  • #15
UltrafastPED
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,912
216
Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.
Which is really weird!
 
  • #16
67
165
I don't understand what you were originally asking about, in that you inferred your requirement was different than earplugs.

That said:
Consumer grade active noise cancelling headphones have their place, but are not really all that quiet.

The highest rated earmuffs are around 33dB (NRR) ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00117XML0/?tag=pfamazon01-20 ) , and earplugs go to 33dB. Supposedly wearing them both only gains you, like, 10dB more.

Remember there is sound conduction through your mouth and skull also.

Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.
I definitely agree. If the OP is looking for total silence, ear plugs only make the sound of breathing and pulse more noticeable.
 
  • #17
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,078
6,049
I'm not clear that the OP knows WHAT he is looking for. Seems to have changed over the course of the thread.
 
  • #18
FlexGunship
Gold Member
369
8
Repeated and prolonged exposure to extremely loud sounds has been shown to reduce the functionality of the ear's ability to hear. You could try that until you don't hear anything anymore.
 
  • #19
I'm not clear that the OP knows WHAT he is looking for. Seems to have changed over the course of the thread.
Pure silence.
 
  • #20
34,231
10,272
Are there specific sounds that are a problem? As meBigGuy and edward explained, you won't be able to hear absolutely nothing, even if you just hear yourself. You just have a choice what to hear (and how loud).
 
  • #21
I'd like to hear as little as possible. For example: not hear birds, dogs, people, cars etc.
 
  • #22
155
5
I think actually the OP means that the brain always thinks, even when you're not trying to think. So in your head you're always 'talking to yourself' about whatever it is you're thinking about.

The only time when you can have total silence is when you're asleep and not dreaming, or sedated/coma
 
  • #23
67
165
Repeated and prolonged exposure to extremely loud sounds has been shown to reduce the functionality of the ear's ability to hear. You could try that until you don't hear anything anymore.
I tried that (involuntarily) now both my ears are ringing, but not at the same frequency.
 
  • #24
I explicitly mean pure silence with reference to sound. I may try gun ear muffs soon.
 
  • #25
155
5
I explicitly mean pure silence with reference to sound. I may try gun ear muffs soon.
Even if you bought the best headphones in the world to block out in coming sound, you'd still hear sound because your ears would pick up your heart beat and possibly air vibrations inside the air muffs.
 

Related Threads on Pure silence.

  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
81
Views
29K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
3K
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
32
Views
3K
Replies
33
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
69
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
Top