Freaked Out By The Sound Of Your Own Voice?

Submitted Fri, 04/05/2013 - 6:48am by BossFrog

WHY THE SOUND OF OUR OWN VOICES FREAKS US OUT

There’s nothing like the horror of hearing your own voice on a recording.  Is that REALLY what I sound like?!  It’s actually very common for the sound of our recorded voices to be totally unfamiliar and strange to us- and there’s a scientific explanation.  There are two different types of hearing- air-conducted, when sounds are transmitted through the eardrums and into nerve impulses in the brain, and bone-conducted, when vibrations from our vocal chords send sound to our ears.  Most sounds we hear are air-conducted, but what we’re hearing when we speak is a combination of air- and bone-conducted sound.  This combo makes sounds seem lower than they are.  That’s why, when we hear a recording of our voice, we often sound much higher-pitched than we thought we were.  As for why we dislike it? It’s because it’s not what we expect, similar to how different we feel we look in photos compared to what we see in the mirror.