How hearing works in the brain
Sound travels from your ears to your brain's hearing centre, where there are two subsystems: The orient subsystem and the focus subsystem*. These constantly work together to help you understand the sound scene around you.
1: The orient subsystem constantly scans your surroundings to create a full overview of the sound scene.
2: The focus subsystem helps you select which sounds to listen to and which sounds to switch your attention to – while the irrelevant sounds are filtered out.
From here, sound is used by other brain centres including for memory and emotions.
*O’Sullivan et al. (2019) & Puvvada et al. (2017)