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Re: High-frequency hearing in humans

I think it's not a case of the need for localization 
driving the need for high frequency hearing, but more the 
case that high frequency sounds are environmentally 
relevant, so we need to hear them *and* localize them.  
That snapping twig might be a predator creeping up on you!  

Also, many small mammals have excellent high-frequency 
hearing, and use it for communication and navigation.  Even 
though humans don't use high frequencies for these things 
(or at least not much), we have inherited the underlying 
mammalian hearing system from our common ancestors.  So 
high-frequency hearing is not something we had to evolve to 
meet any current needs, but rather something we started out 
with and still find useful.  

Best regards,

Bob Masta


On 25 Jan 2011 at 10:27, Piotr Majdak wrote:

> 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?
> Thanks,
> Piotr
> *) 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

Bob Masta
            D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator
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