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Place-based pitch

Dear list,

There is a phenomenon that suggests a contribution of place information to
pitch at all frequencies: the phenomenon of diplacusis, the hearing of
different pitches for the same sound at the two ears (when presented to only
one ear at a time).  It is hard to imagine how a temporal mechanism could
produce such an effect, but if the two cochleas were slightly different
anatomically, one could see how this phenomenon could occur.  The idea is
that place plays a secondary role at all frequencies, perhaps choosing
between temporal conclusions that are close to one another in probability
based on the temporal mechanism (e.g., octave differences), but can
influence the pitches to be slightly "off" when the two cochleas have
different topologies.

Albert S. Bregman, Emeritus Professor
Dept. of Psychology, McGill University
1205 Docteur Penfield Ave.
Montreal, QC  Canada  H3A 1B1

Office Tel: (514) 398-6103, Fax -4896
E-mail: al.bregman@mcgill.ca