Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why We Hear What We Hear, Part 1

This overview explains why we hear what we hear and how you can manipulate it to get different results from multiple listenings.

Background and Notes about This Tutorial

This tutorial contains information garnered from 26 years as a research scientist at Bell Labs in Acoustic Research at Murray Hill, and its lineal descendants, from a variety of papers, from learning while I was an Audio Architect at Microsoft, and when I was Chief Scientist for Neural Audio. It contains ideas gathered from a variety of papers and experiments, done by many people, over a long period of time.

The information presented here is a work in progress, as research in both the hearing periphery, by which I mean the ear, up to and including the cochlea, and the Central Nervous System (CNS), that is the brain, continues today.

I will present a high-level overview of a number of very broad set of subjects. These are phenomena that are observed by researchers in both the hearing and cognitive psychology communities. Each of these phenomena warrants in depth study, some of which will be covered by future tutorials.

Keep in mind, this information

  • is not inviolate
  • is a discussion of phenomena
  • is an unknown mechanism, in most cases, once one gets beyond the basilar membrane
  • will be revised by further research as time goes on, there will always be revisions

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