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Psychophysical tuning curves at very high frequencies.

Yasin, Ifat and Plack, Christopher J. (2005) Psychophysical tuning curves at very high frequencies. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118 (4). pp. 2498-2506. ISSN 0001-4966

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Abstract

For most normal-hearing listeners, absolute thresholds increase rapidly above about 16 kHz. One hypothesis is that the high-frequency limit of the hearing-threshold curve is imposed by the transmission characteristics of the middle ear, which attenuates the sound input [Masterton et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 45, 966–985 (1969)]. An alternative hypothesis is that the high-frequency limit of hearing is imposed by the tonotopicity of the cochlea [Ruggero and Temchin, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99, 13206–13210 (2002)]. The aim of this study was to test these hypotheses. Forward-masked psychophysical tuning curves (PTCs) were derived for signal frequencies of 12–17.5 kHz. For the highest signal frequencies, the high-frequency slopes of some PTCs were steeper than the slope of the hearing-threshold curve. The results also show that the human auditory system displays frequency selectivity for characteristic frequencies (CFs) as high as 17 kHz, above the frequency at which absolute thresholds begin to increase rapidly. The findings suggest that, for CFs up to 17 kHz, the high-frequency limitation in humans is imposed in part by the middle-ear attenuation, and not by the tonotopicity of the cochlea.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 18745
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2008 11:54
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:21
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/18745

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