Re: Beats (Al Bregman )

Subject: Re: Beats
From:    Al Bregman  <bregman(at)HEBB.PSYCH.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Mon, 30 Jun 1997 16:44:19 -0400

Jim, It is possible that the piano tuner suffered from an otoacoustic emission; that is, an actual acoustic signal generated in the inner ear. I will forward your observation to the auditory list to see whether anyone else has a reply to your question. - Al ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Albert S. Bregman, Professor, Dept of Psychology, McGill University 1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1B1. Phone: +1 514-398-6103 Fax: -4896 Email: bregman(at) Lab Web Page: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- On Mon, 23 Jun 1997, James Wright wrote: > Hi Al, > > I'm working at home this morning and happened to hear a CBC interview with > Glenn Gould's piano tuner (now retired). > > He made a very interesting comment regarding an affliction he developed. He > said that later in his life he developed a fairly persistent and > intense tinnitus. I was especially interested in the following anecdote: > > "It really drove me crazy. For example, one day I was on a bus and at > every stop, when the driver applied the brakes, they let out a steady > high-pitched squeal. Every time it happened, I could hear, very clearly, > the beating between the squeal of the brakes and my tinnitus." > > It seems to me that this is a fascinating and rare/coincidental piece of > testimony for several reasons: > > 1) you have someone who happened to suffer from tinnitus > 2) who was also perceptive enough (as a result of training > and experience as a piano tuner) to describe the "beating" between the > tinnitus and an external sound. > 3) who happened to be on a bus with brakes producing a steady squeal > 4) the frequency of which happened to be within beating range of his tinnitus > > With your understanding auditory physiology, do you think this anecdote > might tell us something we don't already know about beats, tinnitus, or both? > > Best - Jim > > James Wright > jawright(at) > Phone: (613) 523-7846 > Fax: (613) 523-8486 >

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