Sound Sense the Wellness Blog

presented by Dorinne Davis

Why Sound Processing is not necessarily Auditory Processing?

Once a friend told me that it takes approximately 30 years before a mindset change will occur. I won’t have 30 more years to see my work be accepted so I am trying to either write my thoughts through blogs, articles or books, and/or talk about them on my radio show, webinars or presentations.  One of the repeated discussions or questions that comes up has to do with the terminology used.  Today’s discussion is the difference between ‘sound’ and ‘auditory’ processing.  Are these words interchangeable?—perhaps to many as they understand the term ‘auditory’ with today’s mindset.


What does ‘auditory’ imply?  To me, ‘auditory’ implies the sense of hearing because the sense is triggered through the cochlea within the inner ear.  ‘Sound’ does not need an ear for the body to process it.  Many dictionaries define sound as vibrations traveling through various mediums that can be picked up by the ear.  Thirty years ago when I was asked to teach ‘sound’ to a physics class, I also used that type of definition.  In fact when the age old question of ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?’ was asked, I said at that time, that if no one was there and there was no ear to pick up the sound, then there was no sound.  However, I no longer would teach that. 


Today my answer would be a resounding ‘yes’ that  a sound is made, because I no longer ‘consider ‘sound to be an auditory function only.  I prefer to think of sound as waveform energy set in motion by vibrating objects. With this understanding, we must ask ‘What vibrates, thereby producing a sound?” What is around us or within us that vibrates? Research has determined that all cells vibrate creating their own sound and that everything vibrates including inanimate objects.  Accepting that, then it is time to realize that sound is everywhere because everything is vibrating.


So what is the difference between sound processing and auditory processing?  Auditory processing only implies a function of processing sound within the frequencies of hearing perceived by the cochlea in the inner ear or along the pathway to the auditory centers in the brain.  Sound processing implies the brain interpreting and responding to any cellular, even quantum movement within the body.  So sound processing is a brain function, not an auditory function.


Sound is also externally around the body if everything vibrates.  How does this affect our cellular vibrations and what the brain processes?  The field studying this phenomenon is still in its infancy.  This is part of what I do as a part of the Davis Model of Sound Intervention®.  My work utilizes specific sound-based therapies to change how the body functions by supporting a repatterning of the body’s sound energy for self-healing purposes—reconnecting the body towards its natural form and function.


The Davis Model of Sound Intervention® incorporates the use of vibrational sound patterns through specific sound-based therapies to make change.  The use of sound in specific patterns, pitches, intensities, and types of music are what is important, not any one specific therapy. The flow chart to determine the best methods is The Tree of Sound Enhancement Therapy®.  Both sound processing and auditory processing are important separate portions of that chart.  Only through the Diagnostic Evaluation for Therapy Protocol (DETP®) is it possible to determine if one or both of these issues are present.  Currently there is no other evaluation available to determine if sound processing is a challenge to the person.  One cannot assume that auditory processing challenges indicate sound processing challenges and vice versa.  A standardized auditory processing test does not always identify a sound processing issue.  Over the next few years, I anticipate having a screening tool for determining if sound processing issues are present.


I encourage those interested in auditory processing and sound processing challenges to begin observing what skills, behaviors, body responses and more are present with those individuals and keep track of them.  Please share them with me if you wish as data collection will be important to the growth of this newly evolving field—sound-based therapy.