Re: Time and Space (at)

Subject: Re: Time and Space
Date:    Wed, 11 Jun 1997 10:14:17 +0200

June 11, 1997 Neil Todd wrote > One of the basic principles of any kind of theoretical work is > that you start out your models as simple as possible, to at > least get them up an running, so that you can make some > comparisons with the data. Then when the model breaks down you > learn something. That's how theoretical science makes progress. Quite true! But then, I'm also a physicist, specialized in (electronic) modelling, so that must be suspicious ;-) I have been looking around for an auditory model that gets at least the gross features right in, say, auditory profile analysis for complex sounds. A good model is not necessarily a model that gets all the features right, but one that is clear and testable about what it can (does) and what it cannot (does not) represent. A physical analogy is Newtonian laws of mechanics: still highly useful for speeds far below the speed of light, although clearly "wrong" in relation to relativistic (and many other) effects. I need a model in order to better estimate/predict information loss in auditory display schemes like the one demonstrated at which maps arbitrary visual information to an auditory representation. I'd like to push these time-varying complex sounds through an auditory computer model to see what amount of information is lost at the output of the model. That would simplify playing with (spatio-temporal) parameters to get better results, perhaps making use of Gerald Langner's findings as well. Doing these experiments (only) with people would be a real pain in view of, e.g., the variability in human performance. Is there any decently specified model around that at least gets the major perceptual figures of JND, missing fundamental perception and major (temporal and frequency) masking effects right? Temporal masking may be a bit hard because of learning effects, but still my wish is to have a model that stands any chance of making some valid predictions about perception of arbitrary complex sounds - even if only covering peripheral auditory processing to omit a number of hard issues about neural (cortical) plasticity. Currently I'm still rather hesitant to try this with any of the suite of existing auditory models for possible lack of consensus about what the results would mean in terms of making convincing arguments pro or con. If only the maker of the model would believe the results, it would probably be a waste of effort for me. Am I too pessimistic in this respect? Is there consensus about the validity of any model for the kinds of auditory profile analysis and related purposes I'm after? Best wishes, Peter Meijer

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