paper on human cochlear tuning (Christopher Shera )

Subject: paper on human cochlear tuning
From:    Christopher Shera  <shera(at)EPL.MEEI.HARVARD.EDU>
Date:    Wed, 20 Mar 2002 09:04:02 -0500

Dear list members, If you can forgive the shameless advertisement,* some of you may be interested in the following paper recently buried in an out-of-the-way location: "Revised estimates of human cochlear tuning from otoacoustic and behavioral measurements" C.A. Shera, J.J. Guinan, Jr, and A.J. Oxenham Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99:3318-3323. Abstract: We develop an objective, noninvasive method for determining the frequency selectivity of cochlear tuning at low and moderate sound levels. Applicable in humans at frequencies of 1 kHz and above, the method is based on the measurement of stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions and, unlike previous noninvasive physiological methods, does not depend on the frequency selectivity of masking or suppression. The otoacoustic measurements indicate that at low sound levels human cochlear tuning is more than twice as sharp as implied by standard behavioral studies and has a different dependence on frequency. New behavioral measurements designed to minimize the influence of nonlinear effects such as suppression agree with the emission-based values. A comparison of cochlear tuning in cat, guinea pig, and human indicates that, contrary to common belief, tuning in the human cochlea is considerably sharper than that found in the other mammals. The sharper tuning may facilitate human speech communication. Hardcopy and/or electronic reprints available by request. * Since publication costs of the paper in question were defrayed in part by payment of page charges, this email message must be marked "advertisement," in accordance with 18 U.S.C., section 1734. -- Christopher Shera 617-573-4235 voice Eaton-Peabody Laboratory 617-720-4408 fax 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114-3096 "Sadism and farce are always inexplicably linked." -- Alexander Theroux

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