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Re: The ear dynamically adapting frequency response

This is completely anecdotal...
As you know, kids like to put high frequency (16 kHz) ring tones on their cell phones so that adults (ie. authority figures) with compromised hearing cannot hear the phone ring.
Yesterday, my son asked "why is it that I can hear the first ring loudly, but by the third or fourth ring I cannot hear it anymore?"
I didn't have an answer, of course.  But if you'd like me to investigate the phenomenon further with him, I can do that.  This isn't horribly scientific, of course, but maybe useful.
-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Mark Fletcher
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 3:48 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: The ear dynamically adapting frequency response

Dear List


I am investigating the possibility that the ear dynamically adapts its frequency response dependant on environment, for example, to suppress noise. My current thinking is that the mechanism for this adaptation is in the expanding and contracting of the outer hair cells, restricting or exaggerating movement of the inner hair cells at different frequencies depending on the stimuli. I would be grateful for any input anyone may have regarding this idea.





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