Why the World Never Shuts Up

Question: Have any of the senses had a more profound evolutionary significance?

Marcelo Magnasco: I wouldn’t say that of our senses is more powerful than the other. All of them are necessary for their own intended purposes right. So vision has certain special attributes. It’s very high resolution in the amount of information it conveys to the brain per unit of time. It also requires the brain to really interpret the scene it’s looking at in ways that requires an amount of time. Hearing is closer to the sense of smell in having a privilege connection to the motions. It’s much more easy to have a sound that changes our emotional stance than to have a visual scene that changes our emotional stance. And it’s sort of much more automatic right everybody is familiar with the calming sound of rain on a roof top or the alarm that the roar of lion will give you so you know it’s very common to go to the zoo and see the kids you know looking at the lion and then the lion roars and all of the kids go scampering out okay because looking at the lion is much more of an intellectual thing than actually hearing the roar of the lion that the brain has been evolved to actually fear and that’s why we actually use alarm clocks to wake us up. The hearing sense is on all the time right. We recognize sounds as we sleep and they will wake us up from sleep if need be. so they serve very different purposes all the senses right. I believe it was Helen Keller who was both blind and deaf that said that blindness separated her from things while deafness separated her from people and that of the two senses the most devastating lack was the lack of communication with other people so this is one of the ways in which you can see that the senses really have different use and different power.

From an evolutionary perspective, it makes far more sense to have sound capable of changing emotional states rather than vision or smell. Hence our hearing never really turns off, even when we sleep.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less