Are you listening? The science of in one ear, out the other.

The age old question a parent asks their kids: Are you listening?

Ask any household with teens and you know it’s a major point of contention. Work with any toddler, and you will soon realize the importance of “1-2-3-eyes on me”. Why do we often have such a hard time listening? Why do instructions seemingly go in one ear and out the other?

A team of scientists just found one reason. Brain scans revealed that our visual and auditory senses share a limited neural resource. That means if you are focusing too hard on a visually demanding task, your ability to hear will diminish.

You read that right. When you are focused hard on a visual task, you literally become deaf to various sounds.

Brain scans show you aren’t ignoring or filtering the sounds – your brain is not even registering the sounds in the first place.

So next time you are frustrated that your friend, child, student, coworker isn’t listening to you – check to see if they can listen to you!