A study at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina has been using microphones inserted into people’s ears to study how their eardrums change when our eyes move; specifically the movement that occurs when we shift visual focus from one place to another. You won’t notice it, but our eyes go through several movements a second to take in our surroundings.
These pressure changes indicate that when we look left, for example, the drum of our left ear gets pulled further into the ear and that of our right ear gets pushed out, before they both swing back and forth a few times.
According to the article, “How our moving eardrums affect the sounds we hear isn’t yet known… They may prepare our ears to hear sounds from a particular direction.”
We also found it interesting that, “The changes to the eardrums began as early as 10 milliseconds before the eyes started to move, and continued for a few tens of milliseconds after the eyes stopped. …Never before has the position of the eyes been seen to have an effect on the ears…”