Re: Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle: Research (James Johnston )

Subject: Re: Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle: Research
From:    James Johnston  <audioskeptic@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Mon, 18 Feb 2013 08:00:18 -0800

I must admit some frustration with this particular paper. First, the Gabor limit does not apply to the task, and never did. The only limit here is SNR_based, since there is already expectation of a given set of frequencies, this is not a task requiring arbitrary detection. Then, the fact that the ear is a leading edge detector has been understood for roughly 100 years now, making "1/100 th of a wavelength" perhaps not such a big deal. It is nice that this performance ability by the human has been clearly demonstrated, but the headline is inexcusably misleading, and is already providing fodder for the audiophile "I told you so" bunch who simply doesn't understand what it means. And, in any case, who would use an FFT to detect such a thing? Rather use a set of bandpass filters, eh? On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM, Peter Meijer <feedback@xxxxxxxx> wrote: > Indeed this relates to a discussion that we had 9 years ago, > > > > and that formed the basis of my old web page on beating the > frequency-time uncertainty principle, > > > > Best regards, > > Peter Meijer > > > Seeing with Sound - The vOICe > > > >> Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 07:43:35 +0000 >> From: "Beerends, J.G. (John)" <john.beerends@xxxxxxxx> >> To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxx >> Subject: Re: Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle: >> Research >> >> For discrimination the uncertainty limit does not exist, one can build >> discriminator devices that go below the uncertainty limit in both the time >> and frequency domain, the uncertainty limit is only a measure for the spread >> (Delta) in both domains (DfDt>1), it is not a limit to what extent they can >> be discriminated. One can also build a device that measures the frequency of >> a sine wave with an accuracy below the uncertainty limit by exploiting >> a-priori knowledge, i.e. if I know that the signal I am measuring is a >> short cut out of an infinite duration sine wave of a certain amplitude I can >> measure the frequency as accurate as I want. >> >> John Beerends > >> >> >> >> -----Original Message----- >> From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception >> [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxx On Behalf Of Kevin Austin >> Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 5:07 PM >> To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxx >> Subject: Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle: Research >> >> Comments? >> >> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> ( the first time, physicists have found that humans can >>>> discriminate a sound's frequency (related to a note's pitch) and timing >>>> (whether a note comes before or after another note) more than 10 times >>>> better than the limit imposed by the Fourier uncertainty principle. Not >>>> surprisingly, some of the subjects with the best listening precision were >>>> musicians, but even non-musicians could exceed the uncertainty limit. The >>>> results rule out the majority of auditory processing brain algorithms that >>>> have been proposed, since only a few models can match this impressive human >>>> performance. > >>>> >>>> Read more at: >>>> >> >> >> Thanks >> >> Kevin >> This e-mail and its contents are subject to the DISCLAIMER at >> -- James D. (jj) Johnston Independent Audio and Electroacoustics Consultant

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University