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Re: Is there considerable phase locking up to 6 kHz?

Jan Schnupp notes

> most auditory physiologists would be very surprised
> if any mammal was found to phase lock appreciably to
> frequencies above 4 kHz.

I would be surprised too, but I am less certain,
or simply less knowledgeable about phase locking
(for sine waves) and the possible role of neural

Barn owls and bats are under great environmental
pressure to extract as much location information
from sound as possible, thus likely favouring
phase-locking up to higher frequencies than in
many other animals. Has anyone investigated the
effect of training on phase locking range? People
are again rather different from barn owls versus
cats and guinea pigs for their own environment
requiring dealing with speech and music, although
that may not put great demands on phase locking,
but blind people form yet again a different group
where any learning effects in phase locking could
play an important role, e.g., for echolocation.
So what is really known about learning effects on
the phase locking range? One can very well imagine
that the collective behaviour of neurons can be
refined for carrying more subtle timing effects
if (and likely only if) there is a need for that.
We are not talking just of static physiology here
but of more plastic neural substrates that have
the potential to adapt if there is a need.

Best regards,

Peter Meijer

Seeing with Sound - The vOICe