Threshold of Pain


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Threshold of Pain

 

the intensity of acoustic pressure at which pain develops in the ear.

The upper limit of the dynamic range of human audibility is often determined by pain. The threshold of pain is to a very small degree dependent on the frequency of the sound. In persons conditioned to hearing loud sounds, the threshold of pain for sinusoidal signals averages 140 decibels (dB) in relation to a pressure of 2 X 10–5 newtons/m2 or 2 X 10–4 dynes/cm2 and 120 dB for noises with a continuous spectrum. In the absence of conditioning, the threshold of pain is approximately 10 dB lower in both cases. Acoustic trauma may result from exposure to loud sounds.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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