Why do we typically react to sound faster than we react to visuals?

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Why do we typically react to sound faster than we react to visuals?

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Sound is much simpler than sight.

To us, pretty much all loud sounds are the same thing *BOOM* “ah unknown danger”

That’s why all loud sounds make people flinch/jump/duck in similar ways, you’re just reacting to the sound.

Visual cues though are different it takes a bit for your brain to process what it is seeing, is it seeing a bird flying by you? A ball flying away form you? A ball that is going to miss you to the side? A ball that is just falling straight down? A ball that is going to go over your head? Or is it a ball that is going right at your face? *smack*.

Visual cues are more complex, so take more time to process and react to, auditory cues are more simple, loud sound = danger = flinch/jump/whatever.

The problem with images is that it is hard to overload them, but with sound, well you could if you want to. So if you want to get somebody attention, this is easier using sound

We get image intake almost continiously, so something can be overlooked because of the shear amount of infomration that we see

And we also are succeptable to our names, because clearly people need us when they call you by your name, right?

So all combined: Shout somebodys name as hard as you can and you will get their attention for sure

One of the main reasons we’re more likely to flinch because of a loud or sudden sound is because we don’t need to be facing it. If something suddenly happens visually, you need to be facing it with your eyes open. But a sudden sound could come from any direction and you’ll hear it, and your ears don’t close. Even when you’re sleeping, you’re still listening and sounds are likely to alert you to danger long before any visual info. The hair cells in your ear that send sounds to your brain have been working constantly since before you were born, and some will continue until you die. So basically, look after your ears!

(Source: hearing scientist)

The other answers are all good. But I think you’re missing something. Humans are visual dominant creatures. “Seeing is believing”.

When you hear a sound, smell a fire, taste a dead bug, or feel a creepy crawlie on your skin…you need to look right away and find the danger and assess it so you can react.

Think of the number of times you’ve seen a book or a glass of water precariously perched and then the cat or your roommate knocks it over. You know it was that book. But 9/10 times you’re going to look to confirm what you logically know is the only possible answer.

So…I think you’re not seeing the visual reaction as much. But then again it could also be that visuals do interfere with reaction. People will freeze at the sight of a snake or faint at the sight of blood…even though aurally they know what’s going on before they looked too. But I think the main answer is still that people trust sight and don’t trust other senses until they’ve been confirmed by sight.