The Incontiguous Brick

June 11, 2007

Whining, Nerves and Breakthrough Science

Filed under: Life,Our World — iknowkeith @ 2:42 pm

Every parent can tell you that the constant whine of their child can put them on edge like no other sound. Not just any kid can have the nerve squeezing effect that an offspring can cause. But why is this sound far more annoying than anything else a child can produce?

In what is described as “fringe science,” two scientists may have found the answer. Their theory claims that nerves may carry signals to the brain via sound rather than electricity (traditional science theory). Part of their justification (that it is not electricity) is the old theory does not explain why anesthesia works to block pain impulses.

What I find intriguing about this theory (as my 3-year-old whines about her Polly Pocket collection being on the wrong side of the table) is that it might explain why parents are more annoyed by their child’s whining than by any other noise. If sound is the answer, then perhaps we are hard-wired to be attuned to the voiced emotions from our children. We could be picking up on the whining with our nervous system directly in addition to hearing it.

So when your children’s whining is “getting on your last nerve”…
Maybe it is – literally.


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