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Re: High frequency hearing

Dear List,

I sent the following directly to David, but it appears that it may be of general interest.
Several experiments have shown that ultrasound (above 20 kHz) can readily be detected
by many listeners, even by some who may have considerable hearing losses at conventional
audiometric frequencies.

From: Soren Buus <buus@ece.neu.edu>
Date: Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:43:14 AM US/Eastern
To: david@robinson.org
Subject: Re: High frequency hearing

Hi David,

You may find the following paper to be of interest:

Buus, S., Florentine, M., and Mason, C. R. (1986). "Tuning curves at=20
high frequencies and their relation to the absolute threshold curve," in=20=

Auditory Frequency Selectivity, edited by B. C. J. Moore and R. D.=20
Patterson (Plenum, New York), pp. 341-350.

In addition, there is a number of articles on perception of=20
ultra-high-frequency (above 20 kHz) sound delivered by
bone conduction. One such article is

Lenhardt, M. L., Skellett, R., Wang, P., and Clarke, A. M. (1991).=20
"Human ultrasonic speech perception," Science 253, 82-5.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Soren Buus

Begin forwarded message:

From: Lars Bramsl=F8w <LAB@oticon.dk>
Date: Thu Nov 07, 2002 10:04:20 AM US/Eastern
To: AUDITORY@lists.mcgill.ca
Subject: Re: High frequency hearing
Reply-To: Lars Bramsl=F8w <LAB@oticon.dk>

And yet we now have audio equipment with 96 kHz sampling - what a =

The only evidence I have seen - which as been forwarded by the '96 =
proponents and audio manufacturers are some EEG measurements done on=20=

exposed to ultrasound, using few subjects. It is a rather indirect=20
and I don't know if this has been published.

The results could be interesting, and like Bob points out the only
meaningful way would be to have the object move. This could be done=20=

some kind of moving chair that would circle a small region within the
duration of one stimulus.


Lars Bramsl=F8w

Lars Bramsl=F8w
Ph.D., M.Sc.E.E.

Oticon A/S
Strandvejen 58
DK - 2900 Hellerup

phone: +45 39 13 85 42
fax: +45 39 27 79 00


-----Original Message-----
From: David Robinson [
Sent: 5. november 2002 15:28
Subject: High frequency hearing

I am trying to discover the limits of high frequency
hearing in the most sensitive human listeners.

The standard MAF curve(s) are of little use because
a) The data does not extend to very high frequencies
(i.e. it usually stops between 15 and 20 kHz), and
b) the data is based on median results.

Ideally, I would like real data to confirm the
anecdotal evidence that young and/or gifted listeners
can hear up to 25kHz (or beyond?). Equal loudness data
would be useful too, but the most useful information
would be an indication (very very roughly) of the % of
listeners of a particular age who can hear a particular
frequency at a particular amplitude.

Is there anything like this in the published
literature? I have looked several times, but everything
I find stops at 16kHz! Also, anything other than median
results seems very thin on the ground.

Thanks in anticipation of any help - any pointers would
be very greatfully received!


P.S. I can't see the local primary school being too
keen to lend out children for a high frequency
listening test - is this the reason no one else has
studied this?