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AW: High-frequency hearing in humans

Hello Piotr and List,

Not only in humans, but in all mammals, the cochlear amplifier (CA) enhances soft high-frequency tones by about 40 dB; see e.g. Fig. 5 of Robles and Ruggero, Mechanics of the Mammalian Cochlea, Physiological Reviews 81 (2001) 1305-1352. According to Fig. 11 of that review, however, soft low-frequency (300 Hz) tones are not significantly amplified by the CA in guinea-pig cochleae. Details see Chapter 35 of my book "Introduction to Cochlear Waves" (2010).

Reinhart Frosch,
Dr. phil. nat.,
CH-5200 Brugg.
reinifrosch@xxxxxxxxxx .

----UrsprÃngliche Nachricht----
Von: piotr@xxxxxxxxxx
Datum: 25.01.2011 10:27
An: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Betreff: High-frequency hearing in humans

Dear list,

I'm looking for the reasons for the good high-frequency* hearing  in humans.

The reasons I have until now are actually the obvious ones:
* Pinna localization cues
* Interaural level cues (ILD, they actually start to work from around 2 kHz)

What do you think: if there were no need for the ILD and pinna cues,
would there be any other reasons?


*) say, above 8 kHz

Piotr Majdak
Psychoacoustics and Experimental Audiology
Acoustics Research Institute <http://www.kfs.oeaw.ac.at>
Austrian Academy of Sciences <http://www.oeaw.ac.at/>
Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: +43 1 51581-2511
Fax: +43 1 51581-2530