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Introduction

This unit is an adapted extract from the course Biological psychology: exploring the brain (SD226)

This unit looks at how language is understood, which includes hearing and how sounds and words are interpreted by the brain. It takes an interdisciplinary approach and should be of wide general interest.


Author(s): The Open University

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12.5 Localisation of sound in the vertical plane

Much of our ability to localise sound in the vertical plane is due to the shape of the outer ear, in particular the pinna. The pinnae provide a monaural cue to localisation. The bumps and ridges on the pinnae produce reflections, and delays between the direct path and the reflected path make vertical localisation possible. Vertical localisation is seriously impaired if the convolutions of the pinnae are covered.


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11.5 Summary of sections 8 to 11

In these sections we have described some of the quantitative relationships between the physical dimensions of simple sounds and their subjective psychological dimensions. The physical dimension of intensity, or pressure amplitude, given in decibels (dB), directly affects loudness. Frequency of pressure changes, in hertz (Hz), mainly determines pitch.

The lowest threshold value and hence the maximal sensitivity for humans is in the region of 3000 Hz.

The quantitative relationship b
Author(s): The Open University

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2.1 Structure and function of the outer and middle ear

Figure 1 is a diagram of the human ear. The outer ear consists of the visible part of the ear or pinna, the external auditory canal (meatus), and the tympanic membrane (tympanum) or eardrum. The human pinna is formed primarily of cartilage and is attached to the head by muscles and ligaments. The deep central portion of the
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3.1 Introduction

In 2000, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology produced an influential report that highlighted the complex and increasingly problematic relationship between contemporary science and society, particularly in the field of biotechnology (House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, 2000). The report argued that many of these concerns were seen by the public to be the result of a perceived lack of transparency in the relationship between science, industry, pu
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1.2 Time, space, temperature and energy

The conventional view of the Universe is that, at the very instant of the Big Bang, the Universe came into being. There was no ‘before’ this instant since the Big Bang marked the creation of time. No location for this event can be specified since the Big Bang marked the creation of space. All that can be discussed are times after the Big Bang, and things that happen in the space created as a result of it. This is a difficult concept to visualize; but please bear with us and examine the co
Author(s): The Open University

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Advanced Audio Blog S4 #7 - Top 10 Japanese Authors: Miyazawa Kenji
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com! When your friend asks you whether you want to read a Japanese fairy tale, you’re puzzled. As far as you know, Japanese authors wrote fairy tales for kids, not adults, to enjoy. When you tell your friend that you haven’t read a fairy tale since you were a child, your friend [...]
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1.5.8 Bibliographic software

If you are considering taking your studies further you might like to consider using bibliographic software. Bibliographic software can be used to sort references, annotate them, manage quotations or create reading lists.

There are several software packages on the market. Some are listed below.

1.4.2 P is for Presentation

By presentation, we mean, the way in which the information is communicated. You might want to ask yourself:

  • Is the language clear and easy to understand?

  • Is the information clearly laid out so that it is easy to read?

  • Are the fonts large enough and clear?

  • Are the colours effective? (e.g. white or yellow on black can be difficult to read)

  • If there are graphics or photos, do they help
    Author(s): The Open University

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10 ‘Science for all?’ A look at some contexts

The following statement is from the science National Curriculum in England published in 2000.

The importance of science

Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific meth
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7.1 Introduction

I now want to take forward the notion of a science curriculum for public understanding, identifying problems and opportunities. Our guide in what follows is the Beyond 2000  document, which emerged from a working group led by UK-based science educators, working collaboratively with science teachers, education researchers, professional scientists within universities, indust
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5 Education for democracy?

We are surrounded by, and interact increasingly with, scientific and technological products – for example, electronic miracles such as DVDs, mobile phones or microwave ovens; what is debatable is the extent to which we need to know anything of their workings to co-exist happily with them (see, for example, Chapman, 1991). Perhaps knowing something about the workings of mobile phones, for example, will help users assess the extent of any health risk they pose. Arguments for disseminating sci
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3.1.5 (E) Historical development of scientific knowledge

Pupils should be taught some of the historical background to the development of scientific knowledge.


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3.1.3 (C) Scientific methods and critical testing

Pupils should be taught that science uses the experimental method to test ideas, and, in particular, about certain basic techniques such as the use of controls. It should be made clear that the outcome of a single experiment is rarely sufficient to establish a knowledge claim.


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9.5 Tables

Using a table or just a set of columns can help you to analyse information and ideas. You can vary the number of columns and rows as needed. The following activity provides an opportunity for you to summarise information in a table.

Activity 7: Completing a table


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9.4 Mind maps

Mind mapping or spider diagrams have become popular in recent years. If you haven't tried this way of making notes, it is well worth a try. When making a mind map, you generally put the central topic in the middle of the page and then arrange the different aspects of the topic around it.

However, you can give free rein to your creativity with mind maps. There are no hard and fast rules. Try experimenting with different colours or even pictures if you have artistic skills. Mind maps do g
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5.2 Barristers

In 2008 there were approximately 12,000 barristers in independent practice known as the Bar. Their governing body is the Bar Council. It acts as their regulatory body and sets the requirements for training, qualification and professional development. The main role of a barrister is advocacy i
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4 Key players in law enforcement

If a law is broken, who has the responsibility for ensuring that the individual or company who has broken the law is ‘brought to justice’?

Activity 5: Who enforces the law?

0 hours 10 minutes
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1.1 The constitution

The UK has a common law legal system. It is very difficult to give a simple definition of the legal system in the UK, but you may find it helps to think of it as the system that covers how all civil and criminal laws are made, used and enforced.

A fundamental part of any legal system is its Author(s): The Open University

Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

The content acknowledged below is P
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