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How the ear tunes in to sounds: a physics approach


Gomez, F; Saase, V; Stoop, R (2014). How the ear tunes in to sounds: a physics approach. Physical Review Applied, 1:014003.

Abstract

Listening is a complex sound selection process thought to be located in the auditory cortex. A biophysically motivated Hopf model of the mammalian cochlea reveals that pitch, a main characteristic in the perception of sound, is already materialized at the level of the mammalian hearing sensor. Here, we provide evidence that major elements of listening may similarly be implemented at the auditory periphery by means of efferent connections to the cochlea that tune the hearing sensor towards an auditory object of interest. The cochlea model we use in our investigations is advocated by its performance quality, the simplicity by which efferent control can be implemented, and by the closeness of the control results compared to the biological data. We tune the Hopf parameters to target on a sound, using pitch as the guiding feature. How well we achieve our goal is tested on real-world sounds and measured by a specifically developed tuning-error measure. The results provide a first estimate of how much the peripheral hearing system can assist a listener in focusing on an auditory signal and, thus, what is contributed by the auditory cortex.

Abstract

Listening is a complex sound selection process thought to be located in the auditory cortex. A biophysically motivated Hopf model of the mammalian cochlea reveals that pitch, a main characteristic in the perception of sound, is already materialized at the level of the mammalian hearing sensor. Here, we provide evidence that major elements of listening may similarly be implemented at the auditory periphery by means of efferent connections to the cochlea that tune the hearing sensor towards an auditory object of interest. The cochlea model we use in our investigations is advocated by its performance quality, the simplicity by which efferent control can be implemented, and by the closeness of the control results compared to the biological data. We tune the Hopf parameters to target on a sound, using pitch as the guiding feature. How well we achieve our goal is tested on real-world sounds and measured by a specifically developed tuning-error measure. The results provide a first estimate of how much the peripheral hearing system can assist a listener in focusing on an auditory signal and, thus, what is contributed by the auditory cortex.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:25 Feb 2015 10:16
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 11:37
Publisher:American Physical Society
Number of Pages:1
ISSN:2331-7019
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevApplied.1.014003

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