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Re: correction to post

Dear John and list,

"there is no mathematical(ly) periodicity at the fundamental"

This is not correct. The "mathematical(ly) periodicity at the fundamental" occurs in the auditory midbrain (the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus). This is also the place where the physiology of pitch production takes place.

By the way, the "central processor" theory (by Goldstein, and later by others) is a central auditory place pitch theory. Please remember that for a theory of this type anatomical or physiological evidence has never been found.

Further, the anatomical and physiological evidence for a central auditory basis of pitch production by periodicity analysis in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus is overwhelming.

The term "missing fundamental" is a misleading one and should long have been abandoned. The hearing organ we have evolved for the synthesis of a unitary percept called pitch, which is based on (A) frequency analysis and (B) periodicity analysis of the results of (A). It did not evolve to detect anything that is missing anywhere.

Pitch has nothing to do with an illusion. It would perhaps be justified to call the pitch perception caused by sine tones an illusion. These tones do not occur in nature, except in rare cases of tinnitus. The pitch of a sine tone is just the result of artificial laboratory food for the auditory midbrain.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
Gansbyn 14
S-671 95 Klässbol

----- Original Message ----- From: "Beerends, J.G. (John)" <john.beerends@xxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: correction to post

Dear list,

Periodicity plays a role in pitch perception but is not the whole story.
In an experiment performed by Houtsma, many years ago, one sine goes to one ear and another, harmonically related sine, to the other, there is no mathematically periodicity at the fundamental, but melodies can be played using this missing fundamental showing that a central processor finds the missing fundamental.

John Beerends