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引人顫慄的黑板之音 One of the Worst Sounds in the World

最討厭同學故意用指甲刮黑板
SEP. 09, 2020
Bruce E. Bagnell

文章難易度 3.5 顆星

 科普園地  4 分鐘閱讀

Bruce, Angela, Wesley

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“If you could keep only one of your five primary senses—touch, smell, hearing, sight, and taste—which would it be?” What a horrible question! Think of it as a “thought experiment.” Given that the verb “see” can replace “know” or “understand” as in “I see what you’re saying,” sight may be the most important of the five primary senses. On the other hand, judging from how many people everywhere listen to music on their smartphones these days, hearing cannot be far behind. In any case, pleasant and unpleasant emotions can be connected to all five senses.

「 假如五種主要感官(觸覺、嗅覺、聽覺、視覺及味覺)中你只能保留一種,那你會作何選擇?」真是個可怕的問題呀!把它想成是一種「思想實驗」(編按:指用想像力對現實中無法做到或未做到的事進行的實驗,是一種思考工具)吧。鑑於「看」這個動詞(編按:此字也有「明白」的意思)可取代「知道」或「了解」,例如「我明白你所說的」,視覺可能是五種感官中最重要的。另一方面,從現今各處有多少人用智慧型手機來聽音樂這一點看來,聽覺的重要性也相去不遠。無論如何,愉快與不愉快的情緒可以和五種感官都有關聯。

primary [ ˈpraɪˌmɛrɪ ] a. 主要的,首要的
given (that) + S + V  考慮到∕鑑於……
=    considering (that) + S + V
judging from...  由……來判斷,從……看來

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Most would agree that the sounds of flowing water or a baby laughing are pleasant to hear. Many would also agree that the sounds of screeching vehicle brakes or a mosquito are not. In a study, researchers arranged for subjects to listen to a wide variety of sounds. From a long list, the participants rated fingernails scratching along a chalkboard as the most unpleasant sound. People who have been schooled in classrooms with chalkboards would likely agree. The sound actually makes many people shiver.

多數人會同意流水聲或寶寶的笑聲聽起來很悅耳。許多人也會同意嘎吱作響的煞車聲或蚊子的嗡嗡聲不好聽。在一個研究中,研究人員安排受試者聆聽各式各樣的聲音。在一長串清單中,參與者將指甲在黑板上刮出的聲音評為最刺耳的聲音。曾在有黑板的教室裡受過教育的人們很有可能會同意這點。那種聲音確實會讓許多人顫慄。

screech [ skritʃ ] vi.(車輛開動或停下時)嘎吱作響(本文為現在分詞作形容詞用)
arrange for sb/sth to V  安排某人∕某物做某事
chalkboard [ ˈtʃɔkˌbɔrd ] n. 黑板
school [ skul ] vt. 教育∕培養(兒童)
shiver [ ˈʃɪvɚ ] vi.(因害怕或寒冷而)顫抖∕哆嗦

Scientists wanted to know why. They monitored their subjects’ reactions to fingernails scratching a blackboard in terms of stress levels. They found that the scratching sound changed the participants’ skin conductivity considerably. Previous research had revealed a close relationship between skin conductivity and the part of the brain that registers negative emotions. The new study confirmed that this scratching sound did cause a physical stress reaction. Maybe this explains why whiteboards and markers are quickly replacing blackboards and chalk.

科學家想知道其中的原因。他們從壓力等級來監測受試者對於指甲刮黑板的反應。他們發現這種刮擦聲大幅改變了參與者的皮膚電導率。先前的研究已發現皮膚電導率與大腦中感應負面情緒的區域之間有著密切關聯。這個新研究證實此種刮擦聲確實造成了身體的壓力反應。或許這正能解釋為何白板與白板筆正迅速取代黑板和粉筆。

in terms of...  自……的觀點來看,就……而言
conductivity [ ˌkɑndʌkˈtɪvətɪ ] n. 導電率,傳導性
register [ ˈrɛdʒɪstɚ ] vt. 察覺(並記住)

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