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Whats the sound that you hear from scratching a fork on a plate called

  1. Jul 3, 2009 #1
    The sound is generated not exclusively by fork on a plate, but from other things such as scratching your nails against paper or sliding chalk on the blackboard. They all make you feel like your heads gonna blow up. What is this phenomenon called, and how can the uncomfortable feelings generated when hearing it be explained?
     
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  3. Jul 3, 2009 #2

    Danger

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    As far as I know, it's just called 'sound'. There are certain frequencies which are annoying to many people, such as the chalkboard example, but there isn't a specific term for them. It's more a matter of how your brain interprets the sound than any intrinsic quality of the sound itself.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2009 #3
    I wonder if these sounds generate some sort of resonance in the human ear?? Something triggers "shivers" in response.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2009 #4

    Danger

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    It might be a 'genetic memory' effect. Perhaps those frequencies correspond to sounds made by predators in the old days.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2009 #5
    "Whats the sound that you hear from scratching a fork on a plate called"

    Irritating.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2009 #6

    Borek

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    I call it "zgrzyt" :wink:
     
  8. Jul 3, 2009 #7
    I agree. It seems reasonable to presume that saber-toothed tigers did, in fact, sound almost exactly like dinner parties. This goes hand-in-hand with my theory that Stegasauri sounded almost exactly like a Yiddish mother-in-law with gall-stones, explaining why we are petrified of both.

    (Sorry Danger, just pulling your leg. After thinking about it, you might be on to something. I can't think of a better reason certain sounds would be irritating to most people.)
     
  9. Jul 3, 2009 #8

    Danger

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    Never apologize to me for a witty post, even if it's a direct attack upon me (which that wasn't). Back on '05 I held the 'Humour' ribbon. I'm not all that funny any more, but I certainly appreciate a good sense of haw-haw. Feel free to belittle me to your maximum capacity. :biggrin:
     
  10. Jul 3, 2009 #9
    I remember reading somewhere (Sciam, perhaps?) that those frequencies that send shivers down our spines were remnants of the sounds our ancestors used to signal danger of a predator. Some of the above posts suggest that they're the noises made by the predators themselves, but don't most (large) predators have deep, low frequency voices? When you think of a villain of a movie, usually a big, deep voiced, tall things come to mind. Those seem like predators. Crows and Richard Simmons don't come to mind as evil sounding.
     
  11. Jul 3, 2009 #10
    All those sounds do sound like a pained scream, come to think of it. Its kind of sobering to think that pained screams were such an integral part of the lives of my ancestors, that it caused me to be hard-wired to become alert and troubled when I hear it.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2009 #11

    Danger

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    I hadn't thought of it being an alarm scream, but that makes a lot of sense.
     
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