### ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

## 4pPP1. Pitch, masking, and Ohm's law for hearing.

**Jerry Malzan
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*14 Vermont Ave., Toronto, ON M6G 1X7, Canada
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Ohm's law for hearing asserts that psychological phenomenon of pitch can
be identified with the physical phenomenon of frequency. More precisely, the
assertion is that perceived pitches are precisely those appearing in the
Fourier spectrum of a periodic vibration having all frequencies in the audible
range. Experiment shows, however, that both parts of this if and only if
statement are false. Pitches may arise without a corresponding frequency (the
``pitch'' problem) and pitches may be absent when there is a corresponding
frequency (the ``masking'' problem). Here an attempt is made to deal with these
problems simultaneously, using only the fact that the ear is a short-time
analyzer, rather than the long-time analyzer that Ohm's law for hearing would
require. The model used is quite simple, requiring only one parameter, and is
in reasonable accord with experimental results. Residue pitch is computed in
the time domain, while other pitches are computed in the frequency domain with
the possibility, however, of masking. [Work supported by NSERC.]