ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

4pPP5. Evaluating human neural tuning curves from a mechanical model of the cochlea by relating them to psychophysical masking data.

P. A. Garbes

J. B. Allen

Acoust. Res. Dept., Rm. 2D553, AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ 07974

Human neural threshold tuning curves are estimated by scaling the parameters of Allen's [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 68, 1660--1670 (1980)] resonant tectorial membrane model of the cat cochlea. A way to evaluate the derived tuning curves using psychophysical data is developed, based on a psychophysical detection model which relates the physiological tuning curves to psychophysical masking data. A detection criterion, defined by a relationship among the bandwidth of the frequency tuning curves, expressed as an equivalent rectangular bandwidth (ERB), the width of the excitation patterns, expressed as an equivalent rectangular spread (ERS), and the psychophysical critical ratio, is explored and verified using cat data. The detection criterion is then used to test the derived human curves by making predictions of psychophysical masking and comparing the predictions to experimental data. The detection model may also provide a deeper understanding of the frequency resolving properties of the cochlea.