1. Auditory Processing Disorder
  2. Auditory Nerve

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Auditory is close in meaning to acoustic and acoustical, but auditory usually refers more to hearing than to sound. For instance, many dogs have great auditory (not acoustic) powers, and the auditory nerve lets us hear by connecting the inner ear to the brain. Auditory neuropathy is a disorder in which the ear has a problem with sending sound from the ear to the brain. Learn more about its causes and treatment. Auditory neuropathy is a hearing disorder in which sound enters the inner ear normally but the transmission of signals from the inner ear to the brain is impaired.


Avg (ms)

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A few notes on auditory reaction times

Audio vs Visual Reaction Times

Numerous studies (included cited study below) have concluded that the mean auditory reaction time is faster than the mean visual reaction time. This means you will react faster to a sound than you would a light. The short explanation is that sound takes less time to reach the brain than does visual information. The study concluded a mean 331 millisecond reaction time for sound vs. a mean auditory reaction time of 284 milliseconds.


Reaction times tend to rise through adolescence and peak around age 24 and slowly fall back down.


Auditory Processing Disorder

Multiple other studies (included the cited study) have concluded that men have faster auditory reaction times than women. The exact reason is unknown, but speculation has been made that the reaction time is influenced by different cognitive strategies employed by females.

Dominant Hand

A study showed that people who are left handed tend to have an inherent advantage in reaction times when using their dominant hand. The idea is that left handers have better right/left hemisphere brain communication.

Type of Sound

The type of sound actually matters. A study showed that humans react faster to non-speech sound vs. speech.

Practice & Errors

Practice is actually shown to increase reaction speed. However if a subject makes an error, there reaction speed will decrease because they are more cautious.


A fatigued subject will react slowly than someone more awake and alert.


Reaction time is fastest during intermediate levels of arousal. If a subject is too aroused or not aroused enough, there reaction times slow.

Stimulus Intensity

If a sound is very faint the reaction time will be longer. The stronger the sound becomes, the faster the reaction time, until a point where it levels off.


If a subject is giving a warning that a stimuli is coming soon, they react faster.


Distractions are shown to increase reaction times.

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Alcohol has been shown to slow reaction times as it slows muscle activation.


Stimulant drugs have shown to increase reaction speeds.


Two studies concluded that people who were extroverted and/or anxious had faster reaction times.

Breathing Cycle

Reaction times are faster when the stimulus is presented during exhalation vs inhalation.


Physically fit subjects had faster reaction speeds than those who did not exercise.

Punishment, Stress, & Threats

Punishment, stress and threats have all been shown to increase reaction speeds in several studies.


Intelligent test subjects have been shown to have faster reaction speeds.


Subjects who are ill have shown to have slower reaction speeds.


Technical Notes

Times can vary depending on your operating system, CPU, audio card and device. A standard delay compensation has been built into the test, but your results will vary.


Note: This auditory test is primarily meant for fun. The reaction times do not directly correlate with the animals' actualy performance times, but are intended as a metaphor for your performance.

Auditory Nerve

Citation: J. Shelton and G. Kumar, 'Comparison between Auditory and Visual Simple Reaction Times,' Neuroscience & Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2010, pp. 30-32.
Thompson JJ, Blair MR, Henrey AJ (2014) Over the Hill at 24: Persistent Age-Related Cognitive-Motor Decline in Reaction Times in an Ecologically Valid Video Game Task Begins in Early Adulthood. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94215.

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