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The Top 10 Most Unpleasant Sounds

This almost got an “honorable mention” in my stupid science series! But I admit I read it all, so it must be interesting!

What do you think are the 10 most horrible sounds that can be heard?

The sound of nails on a chalkboard or screams may send shivers down the spine for a good reason.

A new study shows annoying sounds trigger a highly emotional response in the brain.

Researchers found the part of the brain that regulates emotions, the amygdala, appears to take over the hearing part of the brain when people hear an extremely annoying sound.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers looked at activity in the brains of 13 healthy volunteers when they heard a range of 74 different sounds.

The participants rated each sound from most annoying or unpleasant to pleasant.

The results, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, show the top 10 most unpleasant sounds. See if you agree:

  1. Knife on a bottle
  2. Fork on a glass
  3. Chalk on a blackboard
  4. Ruler on a bottle
  5. Nails on a blackboard
  6. Female scream
  7. Disc grinder
  8. Squealing brakes on a bicycle
  9. Baby crying
  10. Electric drill

Personally, I can think of some they missed, like the sound of a politician attacking his or her rivals. Or a woman saying “Is that it?” after sex!

On the other end of the spectrum, though, there must be some pleasant sounds. They are:

  1. Applause
  2. Baby laughing
  3. Thunder
  4. Water flowing

Again, I can come up with different ideas, like the riffling of a handful of paper money or your sexual rival falling off his bike, and yelling “Ouch!”

What Makes Sounds Unpleasant

The study also shows that sounds in the higher-frequency range of around 2,000 to 5,000 Hz were rated as most unpleasant.

This is the frequency range where our ears are most sensitive and it does include sounds of screams, which we find intrinsically unpleasant.

[SOURCES: Journal of Neuroscience, Oct. 10, 2012. News release, New Castle University]

The post The Top 10 Most Unpleasant Sounds appeared first on Alternative Doctor Dev Site.

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