Studies showed a flexibility in neural function where mice developed an adjustable "sensory filter" that allowed them to ignore the sounds of their own footsteps. In turn, this allowed them to better detect other sounds arising from their surroundings.
According to one of the researchers at the New York University's Center for Neural Science, the ability to ignore one's own footsteps requires the brain to store and recall memories and to make some pretty stellar computations. These are the building blocks for other, more important sound-generating behaviors, like recognizing the sounds you make when learning how to speak or to play a musical instrument.
By figuring out how the brain normally makes predictions about self-generated sounds, it opens the opportunity for understanding a fascinating ability of predicting the future and for deepening our understanding of how the brain breaks during disease.