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Our animal inheritance: Humans 'prick up their ears,' too, when they hear interesting sounds

Our animal inheritance: Humans 'prick up their ears,' too, when they hear interesting sounds

Many animals, including dogs, cats and various species of monkeys, will move their ears to better focus their attention on a novel sound. That humans also have this capability was not known until now. A research team based in Saarland has demonstrated for the first time that we make minute, unconscious movements of our ears that are directed towards the sound want to focus our attention on. The team discovered this ability by measuring electrical signals in the muscles of the vestigial motor system in the human ear. The results have now been published in the journal eLife.