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Re: human versus spectral resolution



At 10:46 AM +0100 4/3/08, Alain de Cheveigne' wrote:
Nordmark's point not well known or understood, even by savvy signal processing specialists. It's very common to read that the Heisenberg/Gabor principle (earlier suggested by Helmholtz) limits the accuracy of frequency measurement, and that the fact that one can do better is a paradox.

Alain, thanks for quoting Nordmark on that; it's exactly what I had in mind, but you've explained it much better, through him. My point, again, is that it's worth doing the experiment to see whether a human's performance on a task is "better than theory", as a way to get a clue as to whether you're using an inappropriate theory, as in that example. A paradox is a good clue.


And yes, the community of "savvy signal processing specialists" is too often ignorant of this distinction, and too easily led astray by the Fourier/Helmholtz/Ohm/Heisenberg concepts. That's why I had Helmholtz and Ohm as the "bad guys" or "anti-heros" in my talk on cochlear modeling retrospective. ( http://www.archive.org/details/Helen_Wills_2007_10_01_Richard_Lyon )

Dick