What do you Hear?

What do you Hear?

Elizabeth Dietz , Contributor

Screams of joy appear to be easier for our brains to understand than screams of fear, a replacement study suggests. The results add a surprising new layer to scientists’ long-held notion that our brains are wired to quickly recognize and reply to fearful screams as a survival mechanism.

The study checked out different scream types and the way listeners perceive them. for instance, the team asked participants to imagine “you are being attacked by an armed stranger during a dark alley” and scream in fear and to imagine “your favorite team wins the globe Cup” and scream in joy. Each of the 12 participants produced seven different types of screams: six emotional screams (pain, anger, fear, pleasure, sadness, and joy) and one neutral scream where the volunteer just loudly yelled the ‘a’ vowel.

Separate sets of study participants were then tasked with classifying and distinguishing between the various scream types. In one task, 33 volunteers were asked to concentrate on screams and given three seconds to categorize them into one among the seven different screams. In another task, 35 different volunteers were presented with two screams, one at a time, and were asked to categorize the screams as quickly as possible while still trying to create an accurate decision about what variety of scream it had been, either alarming screams of pain, anger or fear or non-alarming screams of delight, sadness or joy. It took longer for participants to complete the task when it involved fear and other alarming screams, and people’s screams weren’t as easily recognizable as non-alarming screams like joy, the researchers report online April 13 in PLOS Biology.

In another experiment, 30 different volunteers underwent functional resonance imaging, or fMRI, while paying attention to the screams. Less-alarming screams elicited more activity within the auditory and frontal brain regions than more-alarming screams, the team found, though why we respond that way isn’t yet clear.

The study shows that scream communication and also the ways during which we understand that vocalization is diverse in humans, compared with other mammals whose screams are usually related to alarming situations like danger, says Sascha Frühholz, a psychologist at the University of Zurich. His team’s work challenges the dominant view in neuroscience that the human brain is primarily tuned to detect negative threats, he says.

Though the results are limited only to the experiments and don’t reflect how humans would answer screams within the universe, the rigor of the study methods provides high confidence within the results, says Adeen Flinker, a neuroscientist at big apple University’s School of medication not involved within the study.

The difference that turned up between alarming and non-alarming screams provides a “deeper understanding of this important vocalization,” says NYU psychologist David Poeppel, who also wasn’t involved in the study. The range of experiments, from acoustic analysis to fMRI, also provides “a nice next stepping stone to develop a more methodical and mechanistic understanding of how we process screams,” he says.

For more information please visit this website – https://www.sciencenews.org/article/human-brain-recognize-scream-joy-faster-fear