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Re: Rationale for Critical Bands

Dear Dan, and list,

You are quite right. The level independence of the critical bandwidths (CB) over wide sound level ranges excludes an origin in the cochlea.

There are compelling data indicating that the origin is in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC).








Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
email: nombraun@xxxxxxxxx
web site: http://www.neuroscience-of-music.se/index.htm

----- Original Message ----- From: "Daniel Bowling" <danielliubowling@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2010 3:46 AM
Subject: Rationale for Critical Bands

Dear List,

Has anyone considered why humans exhibit critical bands in psycho-acoustical
experiments (e.g. masking, loudness summation, detectability of phase
changes)? Is the assumption that the origin of critical bands is in the
physiology of the cochlea? If so, how is this justified? If critical bands
result from overlap/interference of vibrations on the basilar membrane one
would expect their bandwidths to change significantly at different sound
pressure levels (because more auditory nerve afferents over longer portions
of the cochlea are activated by higher SPLs, and fewer afferents within
restricted areas of the cochlea are activated by lower SPLs), but this does
not seem to be the case.

In vision, attempts to rationalize psychophysical phenomena in terms of
retinal physiology have had very limited success.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.