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Auditory I

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Biological Sciences

Outline of Lecture 57 (03-24 B; Young) Auditory I – Peripheral Auditory System I. Human perceive the frequency and loudness of sound - The dynamic range of human perception is about 100-16,000 Hz and 0-120 dB - The dynamic range of conversational speech is a small subset of total perception - One way to measure a tuning curve is to measure the loudness needed to mask a probe of single tone as a function of frequency; obviously, minimum loudness is needed when mask frequency is same as probe II. Speech consists of a mixture of tones of different frequencies - Different vowel sounds are the result of the shape of the vocal tract and how it modifies the tone produced by the vocal folds - The information needed to recognize vowel sounds is encoded as peaks of energy at certain frequencies; these peaks are called formants - The precise value of formants can vary from person to person (e.g. due to size of vocal tract), but are still recognized because vowel sounds cluster in formant-space III. Functional anatomy of the ear (this is a review, and is omitted here) IV. Basilar membrane (BM) is responsible for tuning: separation of sound into its component frequencies - Sound results in a traveling waveform in the BM, and the position of maximum displacement depends on frequency (high freq near stapes, low freq near apex) - Since auditory nerve fibers are distributed down length of cochlea, each ANF has a differe
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