Blog #2: Project Plan

Inquiry question: How does the brain relate to hearing and why do certain sounds make our skin “crawl”?

My three steps to research are the following:

  1. What is the brain’s role in hearing?

By researching this question, I will obtain general background information on how we hear and how our brain processes sounds. By having this base layer, further research can build on and make more sense.

  1. What is the “skin crawling” feeling? How is it generated? What is the process in our body that makes us feel this way?

By “skin crawling,” our skin is not actually crawling. So, what is this feeling? Why do we have this feeling? I noticed that this feeling is not only there when we hear disturbing sounds, we can also feel it through situations like seeing disturbing images. Therefore, what are the factors that may result in this feeling? What is happening in our body to make us feel this way? This step of research will dig into the second part of the inquiry question and find the basics of how it works. This will lead to the final connection and conclusion.

  1. Why do certain sounds make our skin “crawl?”

This is the final step of the research: connecting the first and second part together. Now, I know how the brain relates to hearing, and I have learned what the “skin crawling” feeling is. I can link them together and conclude why certain sounds make our skin “crawl.” While concluding the first and second step, I will also research more to find more specific evidence and information to back up my point.

Sources that might be useful to address the question:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/why-are-some-sounds-so-awful-to-hear-1.1171924

https://www.discoverhearing.ca/what-is-the-brains-role-in-hearing

https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/10/11/why-we-cringe-at-unpleasant-sounds#4

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-misophonia

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123018-the-feeling-you-get-when-nails-scratch-a-blackboard-has-a-name/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re0PaEEbPVE

This inquiry is not only related to simple curiosity. When the skin “crawling” is experienced to a certain extent, it can become an illness. Therefore, this question can have an effect in the community. This question discovers a wide range of knowledge; it is related to how the brain and ears work, and why certain sounds can trigger us. When more people are able to learn about this, they may pay more attention to how they react to sounds in their lives. Because they are more educated in this area, they will be able to recognize if their reactions have gone out of the normal zone. If that is the case, then they can be aware and go to a doctor. When more people are educated in this area of knowledge, people can then help others become aware as well. This can become a butterfly effect. As time goes by, this effect can be enormous. When more people globally are educated in this aspect, more people can be helped who struggle with their reactions to certain sounds.

2 Replies to “Blog #2: Project Plan”

  1. Hi Jade! I love your idea so much and I think it is truly a unique idea that not many have thought about! If you want to learn more about different sounds and frequencies and how we find some enjoyable and others unbearable I definitely recommend watching this video which explains the different harmonics and sounds which we hear and why our brain likes them so much!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx_kugSemfY

    Personally, the sound of nails on paper is a sound which I detest the most, what about you? Although any sound of nails being dragged on any material sounds horrifying!

    In addition to this topic, here are some links you could use if you want:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/may/24/research-reveals-why-some-find-the-sound-of-others-eating-so-irritating

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251489

    https://www.soundrelief.com/treatments-for-misophonia/

    Can’t wait for your next post!!
    – Sanam M

  2. Hey Jade! This is a really cool and unique inquiry topic that I believe many will find interesting. I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve thought of this exact question many times before, however looking back, it does seem quite strange. Is this concept of “skin-crawling” sounds built into our brains? Do babies’ skin “crawl” when they hear these noises? Do different noises make different people’s skin “crawl”? For example, when I hear metal being scratched, I recoil. Yet unlike some other “skin-crawling” sounds, my reasoning mainly stems from memories of scratching my mother’s car and my laptop. I truly can’t wait for your next post where hopefully some, if not all, of my questions will be answered!

    Some resources you may find useful are:

    https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/why-do-certain-sounds-make-our-skin-crawl.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/misophonia-is-a-newly-identified-condition-for-people-hypersensitive-to-sound/2014/12/01/7c392782-69ba-11e4-a31c-77759fc1eacc_story.html

    https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/10/11/why-we-cringe-at-unpleasant-sounds

    https://wbkr.com/do-certain-sounds-make-your-skin-crawl-youre-not-alone/

Leave a Reply