Sound Science
Frank Lu
Mulgrave School
Floor Location : J 223 H

If ascending frequencies are played and listened to by different age groups (-12, 12-25, 25-45, 45-65 and 65+), then the peak heard wavelength will decrease as the subjects get older because of presbycusis, the natural medical condition of hearing loss with age. Hearing is possible through the stereocilia in the eardrum being able to interpret the oscillations of wavelengths, thus sending neuron signals to the brain as sound. This process is called electromechanical transduction. Through one’s lifetime, the small number of stereocilia begin to deteriorate, thus being less sensitive to oscillations. This results in higher frequencies going unheard by older people. When conducting this experiment, I was able to collect the data in one week, but some controls were not followed nearing the end of the deadline because of the limited time to collect data for 40 people. I was able to complete it, and continued to finish my lab, and was able to come to a conclusion. My hypothesis was supported, the top frequency that can be heard decreases when one gets older. I was able to make real-life connections, such as safety control by using these frequencies. I also wrote a research paper going in-depth about the biology technicalities of hearing loss and the auditory system.