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Thank you for your expert and fairly concise reply! What about my theses, I
am sure that we both share several common objections against the still
dominant concept of spectral energy by J. Müller, dating back to 1838. In
contrast to Leonhard and also to Josef Manger who's life fulfilled the
Chinese saying "one has to swim against the stream in order to reach the
spring", I consider myself humbly searching rather than revolutionary.
Hoping for getting antitheses, I will send a copy in German to you as well
as to everybody else who drops me a line. I am also going to translate and
complete my theses, design a home page of mine and put them on it, however,
not before late August.
No, I am not a moralist, and I do not disdain well done meat except it
stems from a mad cow. Al Bregman was perhaps closer to the truth when he
called Jont, Andrew and me altruistic individuals. You got me entirely
wrong. I just stressed my rather rational creed that everybody is, and more
importantly we all together are, first of all obliged to use our mental
resources as carefully as possible. Admittedly, I myself am a sinner
against the commitment for care, too. So we both might benefit from mutual
hints. Let's try to avoid confusion.
When I carelessly wrote "late understanding" I expressed my rash pride,
having possibly made a step towards better understanding of hearing right
now. I am aware that this was not yet comprehensible from my scarce
depiction. Be patient. Moreover, according to your denial of lacking
stimulus synchronism, I was wrong in my second suspicion. So I have to
accept your rejection of the topic of "block-voting" back to what you
called cochlear filtering. Well, the pattern is largely plausible from the
typical temporal record of a vowel "a", and one could anyway not expect a
rapid build-up of resonance modes after each main pulse. Nevertheless, I
would be curious to compare the neurograms with spectrograms of the
corresponding stimuli. Do you have both data? Hasn't the spectral envelope
of an "a" much deeper valleys between the fundamental at about 120 Hz and
the first three formants at about 500, 1400, and 2500 Hz then obvious to me
from the neurogram? Has anybody checked whether or not the efferent
feedback possibly supports the recognition of blocks/formants?
My primary concern is still the question how to explain harmony, tonality
and the obvious limitation of the latter. In that respect I am partially
disappointed by your position.
I wonder if merely PSTHs are important. Do population-interval methods
include interval histograms, too? Do not the latter better allow to
separate refractory effects?
You wrote (in 5.): Lower frequency hearing has more autocorrelation-like
qualities (...) while high frequency hearing has more modulation-like
qualities (intervening clicks mask, [temporal]envelope matters, phase can
change envelope shape and modify pitch). I only can guess that you refer to
hearing within vs. beyond the upper limit of tonality and phase-locking.
Given this holds, I agree that largely ICIs are perceived within the
"low-frequency" area. However, modulation transfer below the lower
frequency of tonality limit is also important. It starts as soon as period
exceeds refractory time, becomes gradually more prominent with rising
period and extends far beyond the lower limit of audible frequency. Do you
call this perception with infrapitch sized f0 (e.g. 5 Hz) high frequency
What about autocorrelation, I am happy because we both fully agree,
application of autocorrelation function on the stimulus is not justified.
While my suspicion against adequacy of autocorrelation function largely
rests in analysis and generalization of many failed mathematical approaches
to basic signal processing in hearing, Christian and Laurent provided a
mature entity of compelling evidence against alleged equal perception of
lower and higher-order ICIs. I do not understand your objections. Which of
their arguments is overdrawn and should not be taken at face value?
Are there really still psychophysicists who tacitly associate resolved
harmonics with spectral pattern mechanisms? I hope that the time of
debating on that topic is over. You are in position to provide overwhelming
evidence from the auditory nerve for the neurons to rely on ICIs rather
than place. I reminded of compelling functional reasons stated by Roederer.
Why do you not definitely exclude any kind of central spectrum maps?
You are undoubtedly correct. Hearing is in the end certainly a unitary
sensation. Nonetheless, from the level of CN up to the cortex, I would not
belittle the fundamental difference between primarily tonotopical coding
and diffusely bypassed information.
-- Eckard Blumschein