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The mystery of the “cocktail party” effect solved!

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Photo: Hear-it.org

Scientists from the University of California have found out how “the cocktail party effect” works. The cocktail party effect is the well-known human ability to focus on and pick out the speech of one person in a large crowd where there is a lot of background noise.

The cocktail party effect has both psychological and neurological components, the researchers found. All the sounds enter the ears as a cacophonous roar, but the brain processes the information and tunes into one sound, e.g. a person’s voice, and filters out the rest.
“The psychological component is that it’s a sound we want or need to hear which is why we can tune into it,” said co-author Dr. Edward Chang, assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco, who made the discovery together with electrical engineer Nima Mesgarani.
For more information, see link from http://www.hear-it.org/The-mystery-of-the-cocktail-party-effect-solved“>Hear-it.org

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