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 October 28, 2015

Can we unconsciously ‘hear’ distance?

Lightning Storm

Because sound travels much more slowly than light, we can often see distant events before we hear them. That is why we can count the seconds between a lightning flash and its thunder to estimate their distance.

But new research from the University of Rochester reveals that our brains can also detect and process sound delays that are too short to be noticed consciously. And they found that we use even that unconscious information to fine tune what our eyes see when estimating distances to nearby events.