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The sounds we hear are the result of vibrations of air, fluid, and solid materials in our environment. The vibrations produce sound waves, which vibrate at a certain speed (frequency) and have a certain height (amplitude). The vibration speed of a sound wave determines how high or low a sound is (pitch). The height of the sound wave determines how loud the sound is (volume).
Hearing is the result of these sound waves traveling through the ear and being converted into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain, which "hears" them.
Last Revised: April 13, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Steven T. Kmucha, MD - Otolaryngology
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