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Re: High-frequency hearing in humans

The high frequency limit in mammals correlates with head size (species
with small heads have higher limits than species with big heads).
Compared to small species like mice, humans have relatively poor high
frequency hearing.  For a nice review, see:

Heffner RS. (2004) Primate hearing from a mammalian perspective.
Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 281:1111-22.

Figure 7 in this paper shows the data for many species ranging in size
from mice to elephants.  Although the head sizes range over two orders
of magnitude, the high frequency limits only range over about 1 order
of magnitude.

On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 4:27 AM, Piotr Majdak <piotr@xxxxxxxxxx> 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


David C. Mountain, Ph.D.
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