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Re: Cochlear travelling wave. An epiphenomenon?
Dear Antony and List:
I agree that there is more mathematical backing for the TW concept, but
that's because coherent alternatives have just not existed! And it is worth
while remembering that mathematical models are only as good as the physical
insights they represent.
As auditory scientists, we would do well not to let the TW theory become a
dogma that permits no other hypothesis to be
considered. My modeling has got to the point of being able to explain the
shape of the partition's tuning curve, but it would be nice to do more
elaborate modeling. I hope that additional mathematical analysis will be
developed once the initial concepts have been clarified. Patience is needed,
for it took many decades for sophisticated mathematical models of the TW to
be developed after Bekesy's initial model was put forward.
I am trained as a physicist, not a mathematical modeler, but if anyone out
there has a particular interest in exploring the mathematical properties of
a resonance theory of the cochlea, I would welcome their interest.
Thankyou for your good wishes.
From: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA]On Behalf Of Antony Locke
Sent: Thursday, 29 June 2000 8:39
Subject: Re: Cochlear travelling wave. An epiphenomenon?
Many thanks for your reply that attempted to address the most basic 'level
of description' of energy flow within the cochlea; i.e. how stapes
vibrational energy is transferred to the characteristic place. Many thanks
also to Jont Allen's comments, all of which I agree with.
In my opinion, the travelling wave model captures the qualitative and, to a
large extent, quantitative features of the cochlear response to sound at
this level of description. The model is based on established anatomical,
physiological and mechanical observations within a rigorous mathematical
framework. Any model that counters the travelling wave model must refer to
the same observations and be developed within an equally valid mathematical
In conclusion, I reiterate Jont's suggestion: I look forward to reading
about your model in a quality peer reviewed journal.