Human brains notice a voice much faster when it is considered threatening or aggressive than when it is perceived as normal or happy in an auditory environment, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that in a few hundred milliseconds, our brain becomes sensitive to the presence of angry voices. Sight and hearing are the two senses that allow human beings to detect threatening situations.
Human brain responds to aggressive voices more quickly
"We are interested in how fast our attention responds to the different intonations of the voices around us and how our brain deals with potentially threatening situations," said Nicolas Burra, researcher from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The researchers presented 22 short human voice sounds (600 milliseconds) that were neutral utterances or expressed either anger or joy to a small group of people while an electroencephalogram (EEG) -- diagnostic test -- measured electrical activity in the brain down to the millisecond.