Q: How does the ear process sounds coming from inside the body? — Rowena Kong, Vancouver, British Columbia
A: You can hear some of your internal body sounds because your skeleton and inner tissues act as a conductor, guiding vibrations in the body to the inner ear. But oftentimes, inner-body sounds like this are picked up mostly by the outer ear in the conventional manner, says Dennis Trune of the Oregon Hearing Research Center. Try placing a ringing tuning fork atop your head, and your inner ear will pick up the sound, says Elizabeth Olson, an expert on hearing at Columbia University. The fork’s ring would be analogous, though exaggerated, to hearing inner-body sounds.