Presbycusis or Presbyterian?

Can you hear it? “The principle behind it is a biological reality that hearing experts refer to as presbycusis, or aging ear. While Miss Musorofiti is not likely to have it, most adults over 40 or 50 seem to have some symptoms, scientists say. While most human communication takes place in a frequency range between 200 and 8,000 hertz (a hertz being the scientific unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second), most adults’ ability to hear frequencies higher than that begins to deteriorate in early middle age.” (via Metafilter)

There is an MP3 attached to the article. I can hear the tone but it’s playing at a constant low volume.


  1. It’s true.. I did an experiment when the story about the kids-only ringtone was on NPR. I happened to be in charge of entertaining two charming six-year old (restless, bored, pushy) urchins. So I played the high frequency sound– which I couldn’t hear– without telling them that anything was out of the ordinary. “TURN THAT OFF!”, they shrieked, in unison. And then the giggles started.

  2. Jesus. I can definitely hear it. What a horrible, piercing little noise. I had to shut it off immediately.

    Of course, this comes from someone frequently distracted by the slight electronic buzz made by my desktop computer at work, and sometimes (though rarely) even the odd faint hum of equipment that is *turned off* but still has electricity going through the wires. I hardly have superhero hearing, but seem to have an annoying ability to pick up the most high-pitched and unstoppable sounds of everyday life. If it’s any consolation, my hearing may be fine, but I’m definitely getting near-sighted.

    I’m in the low-30s age-wise, by the way.

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