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Re: Topics for discussion

I would like to second Etienne's request to keep the cochlear amplifier discussion on the AUDITORY list. 

I receive the email responses separately rather than as a long composite digest, so it is easier to segregate topics As long as the subject line contains the topic, I can easily bypass topics that I am not interested in.   .

I find this thread to be very interesting.  I have a special interest in learning about how the brain gives feedback to the cochlear active listening process via OHC. Obviously, I need to also learn about the cochlea's passive dynamics itself.  It seems to be far more complicated than I realized. 

Margaret Mortz

On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM, Etienne Gaudrain <et.gaudrain@xxxxxxx> wrote:
Dear Professor Bregman, dear list,

I am very glad you pointed out that the AUDITORY list is a place that reflects the diversity of auditory research. I would like to add that the interaction between researchers of various backgrounds is essential in that field of research, and the AUDITORY list certainly helps a lot in that regard.

If each specialized group of interest were to create their own list, how could transversal communication take place? We would just end up with a very scattered landscape of auditory research, and one would have to spend hours on the web to find and reconnect all the pieces.

So, although I understand that some people could be annoyed by the discussion, there is no strong reason why cochlear-modellers in particular should not be welcomed on the list. It seems more obvious that there are strong reasons why they should stay and share there debate They are good guys, they contribute a lot! Otherwise we can also politely ask the people who wonder about "timbre" to wonder elsewhere. Or what about those who ask questions about sound cards... I mean who cares? Worst than everything, those who request papers... can't they just pay for it?! The final blow: the improbable conference announcements (even seen a call for a French meeting for PhD students... which would concern, what, 50 people? ever seen an ASA meeting announced here?)... And probably the people that are a tiny bit sarcastic should also be banned from the list...

In the real world you can't suppress the sound of people arguing in the street by any other mean than earplugs that will also suppress the lovely music you were listening to. You may have heard of this: the auditory scene analysis problem, nicely formulated by a great guy in Canada, can't remember his name. Well, on the Internet, you can actually very easily filter out just the electronic messages you don't want as long as you can describe what they look like (as already suggested by Keith Kluender and others). This is a bit sad but, on the Internet, the scene analysis problem has been solved some time ago. For those of you who don't know how, here is a quick tutorial for Thunderbird: http://csd.mta.ca/html_pages/thunderbird/Filters.htm. I'm sure similar tutorials can be found for Outlook, or any modern email software your using. Silent readers of the list shouldn't be deprived of an interesting debate (although sometime a bit over-enthusiastic, but then, normally, adults know that people are making a bit a fool of themselves when they are rude in public for dull reasons) because some less silent readers do not like it. I wouldn't sign a petition to close a TV channel because they show too boring programs between 2 and 4 am...

So please, mechanical cochlear modellers, do come back.


On 16/03/2010 22:34, Al Bregman wrote:
Dear list,

I would like to remind everyone that the AUDITORY list members come
from a variety of disciplines including experimental psychology,
linguistics (especially phonology), infant development, brain
sciences, music and other sonic arts, audio technology, artificial
intelligence, robotics, computer science, and speech and hearing
science.  For the last little while, the postings seem to have focused
heavily on a rather technical and heated discussion of the mechanics
of the cochlea.  It is impressive to see the enthusiasm of researchers
on this topic, but I hope that other people will not be discouraged
from interrupting this discussion with questions, announcements, and
messages on other topics.

Perhaps it would be a good idea if, when any group wishes to have a
prolonged discussion of a highly specialized topic, they form a
discussion group of interested parties.  It would then be of great
interest for the list as a whole to be brought up to date on the
thoughts, and maybe conclusions, of this specialized group if any of
its members were willing to take the trouble to write up summaries
from time to time.

Best to all,


Albert S. Bregman, Emeritus Professor
Psychology Department, McGill University
1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1B1.
Office:  Phone: (514) 398-6103, Fax: (514) 398-4896

Etienne Gaudrain, PhD
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
15 Chaucer Road
Cambridge, CB2 7EF
Phone: +44 1223 273 664
Fax (unit): +44 1223 359 062