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“Imagine two narrow channels dug up from the edge of a lake, with handkerchiefs stretched across each one. Looking only at the motion of the handkerchiefs, you are to answer questions such as: How many boats are there on the lake and where are they?” (after Bregman’90)
Outer ear: Pressure waves collected
Middle ear: Pressure -> Mechanical Energy -> Hydraulic Energy
Inner ear: Hydraulic Energy -> Neural Impulses
Midbrain: Feature extraction
Thickness in BM resonant frequency along length
Spatial Coding along BM
Vibrating BM trigger hair cells neuron fires ‘near’ peak at resonant frequency
Temporal Coding (<= 4kHz)
Firing is probabilistic – may fire at peak or somewhere near it.
~3500 hair cells in humans.
Sound Profile Extraction
(to intermediate auditory system)
High pass filtering
sum of tones
Log spectrum of pitched sound
Resolving multiple voices?
After temporal enhancement
Templates created regardless of input (e.g. harmonics, noise, click track)
- MGB: rate selectivity units