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Re: Discussion about "place pitch" concept

On Friday, March 19, 2004 7:11 AM, Tony Miller wrote:

> The following is an excerpt from a commentary by Shihab Shamma in last
> month's PNAS dealing with the ongoing 'passionate debates between the
> proponents of two very different theories of pitch':
> "In recent decades, physiological investigations in humans and animals
> have attempted to locate and understand the biological substrate
> underlying pitch perception at various levels of the auditory nervous
> system. However, despite all efforts, a deep understanding of the
> mechanisms that give rise to the pitch percept remains elusive. This
> uncertainty has generated passionate debates between the proponents of
> two very different theories of pitch, one based on the place or location
> of neural activation patterns, and the other on their temporal
> modulations. This state of affairs is now likely to change dramatically
> in favor of the place theories with the publication of results of
> intricately designed psychoacoustic experiments by Oxenham et al. (1)
> reported in this issue of PNAS. "

This view of Shihab Shamma is in error. Place theories of pitch are as dead
after this publication as they were before. The authors themselves say
something completely different than Shamma:

"A class of theory based on place-time transformations is, in principle,
consistent with the current data." (p. 1425)

Thus, the authors say that the principle of spectro-temporal pitch models is
supported by their data, not the principle of place theories of pitch!

> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> The article in question (a must read!):
> ------------------------------------------------------------------

Here I agree. The paper provides useful constraints for physiological
theories of pitch, as I have pointed out here:



Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm