why are very high pitched sounds more unpleasant to human ears?


why are very high pitched sounds more unpleasant to human ears?

In: Biology

When I was studying Acoustics, we learned a bit on this for why horror movies use unpleasant high pitched sounds such as high strings. The reason we believe is an evolutionary trait of hearing our young crying and feeling stressed because of it, thereby causing distress or displeasure.

Edit: autocorrect spelling

Isn’t it true that higher frequency waves also have higher energy? I could see this being a factor. High pitched sounds are literally louder?

Things that are high pitched are more compressed; they have more motion. More speed. That increased speed is exactly like when you have a pain somewhere. Your nerves are basically overloading (your nerves are in motion themselves and the pain feeling you get is also in motion *but faster* freaking them out and you feel the sensation) and you interpret it as pain.

High pitched thing are of a motion (speed) that is too fast for your ears, causing pain.

For comparison, think of how staring at the sun injures the eyes. The sun gives out “high pitched” compressed, very fast rays of light. Exactly the same thing. Your eyes cannot take the speed and strength of the sun and they get overloaded and you get injured as a result.