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Re: New Scientist Question

John Beerends wrote:

> Can a simple explanation be that if I yawn the loudness goes down and
> because loudness and pitch are coupled the pitch will change.

Yes, that's possible. But the main reason would be that loudness and pitch
changes are very often mixed up. A loudness change can be misperceived as a
pitch change, and vice versa.

A further important side-effect of yawning is a temporary opening of the
Eustachian tube between the nasal spaces and the middle ear. Because the
opening probability of the Eustachian tube varies greatly between persons,
this effect might explain why only some people hear the yawning effect.

In any case, we have a difficult middle ear problem here, and for a
satisfactory answer we would have to hear what middle ear experts like John
Rosowski have to say.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
Gansbyn 14
S-671 95 Klässbol