Ears May Have Special Pain Pathway

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Research scientists at Northwestern University have discovered that ears have a special pain pathway that serves as a warning system, sending signals to the brain to help protect us against damaging noise.


According to an article published online in the January 29, 2015 edition of Current Biology, there may be more than one nerve pathway in our ears that deliver sound signals. One pathway, they say, prompts us to cover our ears in response to blaring noises from sirens and firecrackers. Less dramatic noises, the scientists have discovered, may travel along a different nerve pathway, without triggering the same protective response.