Why you hate the sound of your own voice

From NBC News:

Sound can enter our ears in one of two ways: air-conducted or bone-conducted.

Air-conducted sound—listening to a recording of oneself speaking, for example—is transmitted through the eardrums, vibrating three bony ossicles (malleus, incus and stapes) and terminating in the cochlea. The cochlea, a fluid-filled spiral structure, converts these vibrations into nerve impulses to be interpreted in the brain.

What we hear when we speak, however, is both air- and bone-conducted sounds. With bone-conducted sounds, vibrations from our vocal cords directly reach the cochlea. Our skulls deceive us by, in fact, lowering the frequency of these vibrations along the way, which is why we often perceive ourselves as higher-pitched when we listen to a recording.

“When [someone] listens to a recording of their voice speaking, the bone-conducted pathway that they consider part of their ‘normal’ voice is eliminated, and they hear only the air-conducted component in unfamiliar isolation—what everybody else actually hears,” says Dr. Chris Chang, an otolaryngologist at Fauquier Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants in Warrenton, Virginia.

That explains why we perceive our voices differently, but why do we dislike what we hear?

It’s kind of the same way we like what we see in the mirror, but not what we see in photographs.

Continue reading the rest of the story on NBC News