This sound can make your brain think that you’re listening to gurgling water

     (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-56866009/stock-photo-small-creek-with-mine-debris-running-through-independence-mine-hatchers-pass-alaska.html'>Gurgling brook</a> image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

    (Gurgling brook image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

    Scientists understand well the mechanics of hearing. What interests Maria Geffen, a University of Pennsylvania researcher in the Perelman School of Medicine’s department of otorhinolaryngology, is the next step: how the brain assigns meaning to sound.

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    “Once it sees the signal, the series of zeroes and ones, these electrical impulses, how does it then put it back together into hearing actually the words?” Geffen said. “That’s what my laboratory is trying to solve.”

    “Without understanding how our brain does that, we can not build better hearing aids or improve the design of cochlear implants,” she said.

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