The significance of representation ("K.Baker" )

Subject: The significance of representation
From:    "K.Baker"  <PC1KLB(at)PA.SHEF.AC.UK>
Date:    Fri, 1 May 1992 12:22:00 LCL

Dear Auditory List, I have been recently pondering on the problem of how to represent the acoustic signal which hits the ear as a first stage process for a computational model of auditory scene analysis. However, as I have pondered, the light has become faint to the point where I think I may be getting bit lost. It is clear that most animals have evolved to solve the problem of identifying more than one (concurrent) sound event from the aggregate sound-pressure waveform. This may be considered a basic or fundamental task for animals to master in order to increase their chances of survival in the environment. As I understand it, the functioning of the peripheral auditory system in many animals differs quite markedly in the frequency resolution, critical bandwidth distribution along the basilar membrane, etc. One of my ponderables is: Does this indicate that the initial transformation of the signal is irrelevant (to a large degree) for the ability to identify sound events? If this is so, does this imply that any old representation of the signal will do for a basic model which is able to accomplish auditory stream segregation? I am aware that the degree of resolution and functioning which different cochleas (cochleae?) produce will make some difference to the auditory 'skills' of the animal. My point is that the skill (or primitive process) of stream segregation is not primarily reliant upon this initial representation of the signal. I would be extremely grateful if anyone could help with this issue. May be I am looking at this completely the wrong way? Or may be I have started off with some mistaken assumptions? Kevin L. Baker University of Sheffield, UK email: >From UK - pc1klb(at) >From everywhere else - pc1klb(at)

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