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Re: Effect of duration on pitch perception
Dear William, Erik, Roy, and others:
One would think that the ear architecture is ideal for parallel processing
in the frequency domain. In that case, one would not expect f0 pitch to be
discriminated more slowly than pure-tone pitch due to the additional
It doesn't take much processing to detect neural activity at a
set of harmonically related frequencies. It doesn't matter that more
neurons activated because the processing can be done in parallel.
Of course it would not matter if more neurons were involved. But the point
is that pitch extraction via detection of a spatial pattern could NOT be
done in any kind of parallel processing. It would have to be a SERIAL
First step: Frequency filtering.
Second step: Storage of the main spectral lines in a neural matrix.
Third step: Detection of a pattern in this matrix that fits a harmonic
Not two of these three steps could be done in parallel.
Periodicity detection in a neural system, however, can easily be done as an
integration of parallel processes. It necessarily has the potential to be
much faster than place-pattern detection. This had been evident already 22
Neuroscience of Music
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