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Human hearing. Limits, the human ear, and issues of perception. Physical Characteristics. Frequency range: 20 Hz … 20 kHz Factor of 1000 Intensity range: 10 -12 to 1 W/m 2 Factor of 10 12 Filtering of information. Physical characteristics.

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human hearing

Human hearing

Limits, the human ear, and issues of perception

physical characteristics
Physical Characteristics
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz … 20 kHz
    • Factor of 1000
  • Intensity range: 10-12 to 1 W/m2
    • Factor of 1012
  • Filtering of information
physical characteristics3
Physical characteristics

Graphics: Rossing, Moore & Wheeler, The Science of Sound, 3rd Ed.

psychophysics

Middle Ear:

Transformation into mechanical and then electrical signals

Psychophysics:
  • objective and quantitative study of the relation of physical stimuli and sensory perceptions

Processing:

sorting, selection,

recognition

Pressure fluctuations

important parts of the ear
Important parts of the ear

Outer Ear:

  • Auditory canal
  • Ear drum

Middle ear:

  • Ossicles: hammer (malleus), anvil (incus), stirrup (stapes)

Inner Ear

  • Cochlea
  • Auditory nerve
important parts of the cochlea
Important parts of the Cochlea
  • Oval window
  • Scala vestibuli (filled with fluid)
  • Scala timpani
  • Round window
  • Basiliar membrane
  • Organ of Corti
  • Auditory nerve
mechanism of signal transport
Mechanism of signal transport

Hall, Musical Acoustics, 3rd Ed.

lever action of ossicles
Lever action of ossicles

Small displacement over large area becomes large displacement over small area

hearing loss
Hearing loss
  • Conduction deafness: reduced mobility of ossicles due to vibrous tissue (i. e. from repeated otitis)
  • Nerve deafness: deterioration of hair cells or nerve (also age-related presbycusis)
  • Can be distinguished through bone conduction
just noticable differences
Just noticable differences
  • At which frequency difference do two tones sound different to us?

200/201 Hz

200/202 Hz

200/203 Hz

2000/2002 Hz

2000/2003 Hz

2000/2004 Hz

2000/2006 Hz

2000/2008 Hz

2000/2002 Hz

2000/2003 Hz

2000/2004 Hz

2000/2006 Hz

2000/2008 Hz

simultaneous sounds
Simultaneous sounds
  • At which difference in frequency can we hear two distinct sounds?

1000 Hz combined with …

700 Hz

800 Hz

900 Hz

990 Hz

1010 Hz

1100 Hz

1200 Hz

1300 Hz

980 Hz

1020 Hz

950 Hz

1050 Hz

how are sounds resolved14
How are sounds resolved?
  • Critical band: region on basiliar membrane for reception of a pure tone
  • If critical bands overlap, only a single tone is heard
  • The critical band is larger at low frequencies.