ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

2pID1. Hot topics in psychological acoustics.

William A. Yost

Parmly Hear. Inst., Loyola Univ. of Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60201

Psychological acoustics, or psychoacoustics, is the study of the relation between sound and the behavior of humans and other animals. Such relations are usually referred to as ``hearing.'' In recent years, the psychoacoustical study of hearing has returned to a major question, ``How does an organism determine the sources of sound in its environment, especially when there are a number of simultaneously presented sound sources?'' The sensory receptors for hearing are sensitive to the physical properties of the sound field impinging on the organism and are not selective for processing sound sources. The brain must process the neural code of the incoming sound field in order for the organism to determine the sources of the sound that make up the input sound field. The neural code for sound provided by the auditory peripheral nervous system is a temporal--spectral representation of the total sound field. This talk will highlight recent developments in simulating the temporal--spectral code provided by the auditory periphery and advances in the study of properties of this code that might be used by the brain to aid the organism in determining the sources of sounds. [Work supported by NIDCD and AFOSR-Life Sciences.]