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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Hearing and Language Processing

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Ted Petit

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Chapter 8: Hearing and Language Processing Module 8.1 The Auditory System The Properties of Sound Frequency: rate of vibration number of wave cycles completed per unit of time. Unit for frequency: Hertz (Hz cycles per second) Human ear can only perceive vibrations between 20 and 20, 000 Hz Humans are sensitive to sounds between 1000 and 4000 Hz Sounds of different frequencies have different pitches higher the frequency, higher perceived pitch Property of sound is loudness- the amplitude of the sound wave Sound amplitude measured in decibels (dB) Conversational speech 40-60dB Sounds varies in complexity, which perceived as the sounds timbre (example of the application of timbre is knowing how to differentiate between violins and trumpets) In addition to the intended frequency (fundamental frequency), instruments produce overtones which are at frequencies higher than the fundamental frequency. Overtones vary in their intensities. Complicated sounds can also be broken down into simple component waves in a mathematical process called Fourier analysis. This type of analysis are used to compress complex sounds on computers (MP3 format) Prosody: ones tone of voice eg. When you are asking a question, the pitch of the speaker rises. The Ear Sound waves enter the outer ear, passing the pinna through the hole (called the auditory meatus) leading to the ear canal that amplifies the vibrations and channels them onto the eardrum ( tympanic membrane) www.notesolution.com The membrane vibrates and passes the vibration along three bones: the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup). These bones are called the ossicles. Each bone further amplifies the vibration, transmitting the vibration through the oval window The membrane covering the oval window transmits the vibrations into the cochlea through the cochlear fluid The vibrations of the fluid cause a bending of both the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane which then creates neural activity in the hair cells The hair cells are receptor cells of the auditory system located in the cochlea Outer ear: comprises of the pinna and external ear canal. It serves to catch and amplify sound waves Middle ear: chamber between tympanic membrane and the oval window. Sounds are transduced from air pressure vibrations to mechanical energy and then amplified along the ossicles to the oval window Inner ear: mechanical energy is converted to neural activity. The outer hair cells help to tune the cochlea through contraction and relaxation and the Inner hair cells, which are the receptors cells, have filaments at their tips called cilia. The cilia are arranged in order of height When cilia move toward the direction containing the tallest cilium, fibres within the cilia are stretched, resulting in increased firing in the axons on the cochlear nerve If the cilia are forced in the opposite direction, towards the shortest cilium, firing the cochlear nerve falls below the normal (resting) rate The hair cells, the, their cilia, and the cells that support them are referred to as the organ of Corti. This is located in the cochlear duct. The hair cells and their cilia are located along the basilar membrane There is a second membrane that runs parallel to the basilar membrane called the tectorial membrane www.notesolution.com
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