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Re: High-frequency hearing in humans

Perhaps the question could be reframed as, "What are the evolutionary advantages of perceiving wavelengths of 1.5 to 4 cm, over not perceiving these wavelengths?" I would imagine that the upper limit of human hearing was developed well in advance of having to distinguish "zoo" from "sue".

In my mind's eye [sic], I see wavelength more so than frequency in sound transmission / perception.


On 2011, Feb 2, at 2:14 PM, Piotr Majdak wrote:

Dear list,

thank you all for the many responses. Below I try to sort and summarize the information:

Reasons why extended (>8 kHz) high-frequency hearing may be important (besides sound localization!) :

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?


*) say, above 8 kHz

Piotr Majdak
Psychoacoustics and Experimental Audiology
Acoustics Research Institute
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: +43 1 51581-2511
Fax: +43 1 51581-2530