GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Audition

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Audition

A hearing aid will not be of use to someone with __________ deafness.

Possible Answers:

ossicle

cortical

temporary 

auditory

conduction

Correct answer:

cortical

Explanation:

Hearing aids replace the cochlea and the essential apparatuses contained within. Most significantly, they perform the role of the receptor cells lining the basilar membrane within the cochlea, which are responsible for the transduction of information carried by physical energy into electrical energy within the nervous system. This type of hearing aid is of value to an individual suffering from conduction deafness, which is deafness brought about due to damage to the apparatuses of the ear. An example of this would be a soldier deafened by exploding ordinance, or an airport worker continuously exposed to the loud volume of plane engines without sufficient ear protection. Cortical deafness, also known as nerve or sensorineural deafness, however, is brought about through damage to the auditory regions of the nervous system. As such, an individual with perfectly healthy ears might be rendered deaf due to damage caused by a stroke or brain trauma. This kind of deafness cannot be rectified by hearing aids, or any other form of extant medical intervention. "Ossicle" may refer to the bones of the inner ears (the auditory ossicles), but is not itself the name for a form of deafness nor is "auditory."

Example Question #2 : Audition

Which of the following correctly describes the path of air vibrations that are perceived as sound?

Possible Answers:

Cochlea, auditory ossicles, pinna, tympanic membrane

Pinna, auditory ossicles, tympanic membrane, cochlea

Auditory ossicles, cochlea, tympanic membrane, pinna

Tympanic membrane, auditory ossicles, pinna, cochlea

Pinna, tympanic membrane, auditory ossicles, cochlea

Correct answer:

Pinna, tympanic membrane, auditory ossicles, cochlea

Explanation:

The pinna is the formal term for the body part that is commonly referred to as the 'ear'. This is the portion of the ear that projects from the head. This is the first point of contact with air vibrations that will enter the ear canal to pass their vibrations onto the eardrum. The tympanic membrane the formal term for the eardrum. From here, the auditory ossicles are vibrated. These are the three, minute bones found within the middle ear: the malleus, incus, and stapes. These three bones transmit the vibrations onto the oval window of the cochlea, which contains the basilar membrane, where transduction of the physical information occurs.

Thus the correct order is: pinna, tympanic membrane, auditory ossicles, and cochlea.

Example Question #3 : Audition

What is determined by the frequency of a sound?

Possible Answers:

Length (in time)

Pitch

Timbre

Volume

None of these

Correct answer:

Pitch

Explanation:

The frequency of a vibration corresponds to the pitch of the perceived sound produced from it. Higher frequencies will produce higher pitched notes, while lower frequencies will produce lower pitched notes. On the other hand, the amplitude of a sound wave will determine the volume of a perceived sound. Timbre is a complex component of a sound, and is the result of a variety of other elements. To provide a brief illustration however, timbre explains why a G# note on a trumpet sounds distinct from a G# note played on a piano. The longevity of a note is not the result of either the frequency or the amplitude of a sound. This is simply determined by how long the vibration continues.

Example Question #4 : Audition

A change in the frequency of a sound wave will affect its __________.

Possible Answers:

timbre

None of these

pitch

All of these

loudness

Correct answer:

pitch

Explanation:

The frequency of a sound wave, or the pace of its vibrations within the ear, will determine the sound's pitch. The sound's loudness is determined by the amplitude of the sound wave, the timbre by its complexity.

Example Question #5 : Audition

Sensorineural hearing loss can result from damage to which of the following areas?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Middle ear

Outer ear

Outer and middle ear

Inner ear

Correct answer:

Inner ear

Explanation:

Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and often results from the loss or damage to hair cells or the nerve from the ear to the brain. For this reason, it occurs from damage to the inner ear, where the nerve and hair cells are located. Damage to the middle ear would result in conductive hearing loss. Damage to the outer ear, would likely result in decreased sound localization. 

Example Question #6 : Audition

Which of the following is the unit of loudness?

Possible Answers:

Hertz (Hz)

Decibel (dB)

Octave

Pascal (Pa)

meters/second (m/s)

Correct answer:

Decibel (dB)

Explanation:

Sound waves are pressure changes and loudness is related to the amplitude of the wave. It is quantified by the decibel (dB). Pascal is the standard unit for pressure. Whereas, Hertz is used to quantify frequencies and an octave is a doubling in frequency. Meters/second describes the speed at which sound propagates.

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