Synchronization of brain gamma waves helps in producing unified sound

The nervous system is always a quite complex process in the biological system. Although sufficient studies have been done yet it doesn’t solve the mysteries all through the years. For instance, when we give different auditory input to both ears, our brain process it in such a way that we hear a unified sound. It’s a common question to most people of how it happens.

Physiological mechanism

The sound just traverses through the inner ear by varieties of processes like vibrating the tympanic membrane. As the sound passes, it stimulates the hair cells resulting in the generation of an impulse. The amplitude and frequency of sound differ in both of the ears when it is not fed equally. The input from the right ear will reach the left brain hemisphere and vice versa for the right ear.

The two hemispheres have to perform some task to make it a unified sound, rather than producing an echo. The left side takes care in distinguishing phonemes and syllables, while the right side for prosody and rhythm of speech. The integration of the brain is important for correct hearing and the process remains unknown.

Role of gamma waves

The scientist cues the production of oscillating gamma waves by the brain, and the integration happens via synchronization. They used 28 healthy individuals to come to this conclusion. The subjects heard an ambiguous syllable (a speech sound between ga and da) in their right ear, and the left ear heard an unnoticed click containing fragments of the same syllables. The individual informed the sound which they heard from their left ear. The experts used functional magnetic resonance (fMRI).

Also, the researchers hinder the synchronization process of gamma waves by placing an electrode on the head. The subjects then were not able to identify syllables correctly. This implies that the electrical stimulation damages the process of integration in both hemispheres, thereby failing the synchronization.

Future uses of the study

The study perhaps proved the role of gamma-mediated synchronization between the areas of the brain for effective neural integration. Besides, it indicated that the integration defect like tinnitus and other nerve problems could sufficiently overcome by the use of electrical stimulation.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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