The Universal Sense by Seth S. Horowitz
How Hearing Shapes the Mind

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Every day, we are beset by millions of sounds-ambient ones like the rumble of the train and the hum of air conditioner, as well as more pronounced sounds, such as human speech, music, and sirens. How do we know which sounds should startle us, which should engage us, and which should turn us off?

Why do we often fall asleep on train rides or in the car? Is there really a musical note that can make you sick to your stomach? Why do city folks have trouble sleeping in the country, and vice versa?In this fascinating exploration, research psychologist and sound engineer Seth Horowitz shows how our sense of hearing manipulates the way we think, consume, sleep, and feel.

Starting with the basics of the biology, Horowitz explains why we hear what we hear, and in turn, how we've learned to manipulate sound: into music, commercial jingles, car horns, and modern inventions like cochlear implants, ultrasound scans, and the mosquito ringtone. Combining the best parts of This is Your Brain on Music and The Emotional Brain, this book gives new insight into what really makes us tick.

About Seth S. Horowitz

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Seth S. Horowitz, Ph.D. is an assistant research professor in the departments of neuroscience and psychology at Brown University. He is the co-founder of NeuroPop, the first sound design and consulting firm to use neurosensory and psychophysical algorithms in music, sound design, and sonic branding. He is married to sound artist China Blue and lives in Warwick, RI.
Published September 4, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 321 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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“What we think of as sound,” writes Horowitz (Neuroscience and Psychology/Brown Univ.), “is split between two factors, physics and psychology.” This dichotomy forms the framework of the author’s debut book, with chapters examining both how we hear sounds and the effects those sounds have on our b...

Jul 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Universal Sense: How Hear...

Publishers Weekly

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All this lets sound “drive a fantastic range of subconscious elements in the living organism.” Horowitz beautifully describes how the evolution of fervently communicating life forms changed the sounds of early earth “from incidental noise to songs.” He explains how hearing rewires our bra...

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Universal Sense: How Hear...

Washington Independent Review of Books

What is interesting to Horowitz about certain elements of sound is that they act as emotional and physical triggers, even when human beings have had no previous experience with such sounds.

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