Of the five senses that humans have been blessed with, audio is perhaps the most of important of all since hearing allows us to communicate with each other by receiving sounds and interpreting speech. Sound is also what helps us understand our surroundings, and warns us of danger. And what we hear is processed in different ways, by different parts of our brain. Different areas receive and process the information, moving the sound we hear from the thalamus (which relays sensory information), to the primary auditory cortex, to the posterior superior temporal gyrus (responsible for the perception of sound), and to the primary auditory cortex (responsible for processing the attributes of sound like pitch, rhythm and frequency).
In short, sound is a complicated business, and part of the center of our being. The auditory system itself is divided into two subsystems – the peripheral and the central systems. And each part of this system has a purpose. For example, the outer ear, which looks like folds of cartilage, actually functions as sound wave reflectors and attenuators when the waves hit them. Our ear canal is a tube-like structure, which is basically a sound amplifier.
The power of sound
The way we perceive sound is truly amazing. Apart from all the systems and neurons that seem to connect instantaneously and allow us to experience the sound of a voice, music, or the chirp of a bird outside our window, audio is also a deeply emotional experience. Music or ‘tone of voice’ are enough to create feelings of ecstasy or complete and utter devastation. A specific melody has the power to move us to tears.
Humanity has long been fascinated with the power of sound, and its impact on the brain. In fact, specific parts of the brain have been found to be linked with specific emotions. For example, there have been studies on the amygdala, which have shown it has a role in fear conditioning and that it is possible to associate certain tones of sound with pain. As for music, the wide range of emotions conjured through listening to a beautiful piece of music has a powerful ability to evoke images, feelings and more, but there is no strong scientific agreement on exactly how this happens.
Language lives through audio
When it comes to communicating, a lot of what we say is expressed through language and through words. But we often forgot how important the other elements of language are – including tone of voice, pace, inflections and more. Language is wonderful, but it is audio that breathes life into it. A poem on a page lies dormant until a speaker reads it and brings it to life through sound.
In the same way, our online world of text often misses out on the complex and wonderful world of audio. So much of the way we communicate is just the written weird – often abbreviated, ambiguous and hard to read. Tone of voice somehow also brings something incredibly personal to the table. And social media, comments, reviews and more are all becoming more and more personal. As customers relate their experiences with products and services they often do so through text, and much is lacking.
Bringing sound back
Luckily there is something that brings the vibrant, complex and irreplaceable world of audio back to at least one area that has been almost exclusively text-based till now, and this is voice comments and reviews. Today there are audio platforms which allow you to interact with and listen to shop owners, publishers, users and customers and to bring sound back to language.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.