comparison of vision and auditory system (Jont Allen )

Subject: comparison of vision and auditory system
From:    Jont Allen  <jba(at)RESEARCH.ATT.COM>
Date:    Thu, 29 May 1997 09:57:42 -0400

>Roger Watt <r.j.watt(at)STIR.AC.UK> wrote: >In vision, there is exquisite spatial precision as well as resolution >but much less precision in the time domain, despite reasonable temporal >resolution. I find this point interesting because this is also true in the auditory system. The frequency JND is very small, but the acuity of temporal events is suprisingly bad. I have always assumed that in the auditory system this was by design, because of the degrading effects of echos and reverberation, for example. If the temporal acuity is quantitatively similar (is it?) in the two system, then this might be saying something about how the CNS functions. For example, for the auditory case, it seems likely that the reason for the poor temporal acuity across frequency is that the information is being merged after many "layers" or stages of processing. This follows from the old observation that temporal acuity necessarily decreases for deeper layers. Does this make sense to anybody, or is this just the sound of soft wind? Jont Allen

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