Re: pitch and middle ear (Daniel Rowan )

Subject: Re: pitch and middle ear
From:    Daniel Rowan  <dr(at)ISVR.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date:    Thu, 22 Nov 2001 15:13:42 +0000

There is evidence that dc changes in middle ear pressure are transferred to the cochlea. However, in studies manipulating ear canal pressure this is not the case if subjects equalise their middle ear to atmospheric pressure before testing in each ear canal pressure condition. Under these conditions, pitch shifts are also unlikely to be related to Eustachian tube opening or the stapedial reflex. The pitch intensity effect is also fairly small at mid frequencies; that is, a large change in sensation level is required to produce a detectable change in pitch. Thus, if you notice a substantial change in pitch at 1-2kHz with yawning or jaw clenching, it is not likely to be the pitch intensity effect. Is there anyone with absolute pitch who has observed any of these bizarre effects? Anyone noticed anything during air flights? What about the jaw clenching phenomenon? I can sense the strain of hundreds of jaws clenching right now! Daniel Rowan Institute of Sound & Vibration Research University of Southampton Southampton, UK dr(at) 023 80599468

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