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two cycles

Hi list,

In many of the papers published by Georg von Békésy he makes the statement that the fundamental frequency was determined by the auditory system "even when the stimulus was only two cycles" in length. In at least one of his publications {The Missing Fundamental and Periodicity Detection in Hearing JASA 1972 512) 631-637) he attributes this to his own experiments and to a paper by Savart.[Annalen der Physik und Chemie 1840 53 ( ) 555-561 in german]. It is quite true that Savart found that the fundamental was determined in two cycles but it was published in an earlier paper by Savart (Ueber die Empfindlichkeit des Gehörorgans Felix Savart Annalen der Physik und Chemie 1830 20( ) 290-304 in german)and no mention of the two cycles is mentioned in the citation by Békésy. Actually from a historical point of view the original paper by Felix Savart was published in French in: Annales de chimie et de Physique 1830 44 ( ) 337-352 in French.

Can anyone point me to literature which shows how the auditory system performs the "two cycle" feat, or to papers which show how such a "two cycle" feat might be acomplished mathematically or to any papers of a more recent origin which discusses this ability.


Fred Herzfeld, MIT '54
78 Glynn Marsh Drive #59
Brunswick, Ga.31525