Glossary of Auditory:Psychology

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Name the 2 most influential theories of pitch perception?
1) place theory
2) frequency theory
Vision as an auditory cue.
We tend to rely on visual cues during auditory perception/localization.
Objective of hearing theories?
To account for how sound waves are physiologically translated into perceptions of pitch, loudness and timbre.
Describe the cochlea
cochlea-a fluid filled, coiled tunnel that contains the receptors for hearing.
Name comes from Greek word for spiraled shaped snall, which is what it looks like.
What is the basilar membrane?
The basilar membrane which runs the length of the spiraled cochlea, holds auditory receptors, called hair cells.
What did research reveal about place theory?
Hermholtz's place theory was basically correct except for one detail: Hair cells along the basilar membrane are not independent. They vibrate together as suggested by the frequency theory.
Function of the auditory cortex?
has specialized cells similar to visual cortex which detect specific sounds.
Describe the inner ear.
The inner ear consists largely of the cochlea.
Describe the auditory path to the brain.
Auditory nerves travel to the lower brainstem, cross over hemis via interconnected bunch of synapses, and then to the auditory portion of the thalamus, then to auditory cortex (for the most part located in temporal lobes).
Pattern of vibration?
The actual pattern of vib is a traveling wave along the basilar membrane. Place theory is correct in that the wave peaks at a particular place depending on the frequency of the sound wave.
Describe the function of the cochlea within the inner ear.
Sound enters the cochlea through the oval window, which is vibrated by the ossicles. The ear's neural tissue, analagous to the retina in the eye, lies within the cochlea. This tissue sits on the basilar membrane that divides the cochlea into upper and lower chambers.
Describe the middle ear.
In the m.ear vibrations of the eardrum are transmitted inward by a mechanical chain made up of the three tinest bones in your body (the hammer, anvil, and stirrup) know collectively as the ossicles.
Descirbe the function of haircells in the basilar membrane.
Waves in the inner ear stimulate the haircells. Like rods and cones in the eye, the haircells convert this physical stimulation into neural impulses that are sent to the brain.
What 2 cues are critical for the purpose of auditory localization?
1)slight differences in the intensity (loudness) and timing of sounds arriving in each ear.
2) "shadow" or partial sound barrier cast by the head itself.
Thus, people can differentiate between the rate at which sound arrives at each ear.
Place theory of pitch perception?
Place theory-perception of pitch corresponds to the vibration of different portions/places, along the basilar membrane. Assumption: haircells at various locations respond independently and that different sets of haircells are vibrated by different sound frequencies. The brain then detects the freq of a tone according to which area along the basilar membrane is most active.
Describe the function of the ossicles within the middle ear.
The ossicles form a 3 stage lever system that converts relatively large movements with little force into smaller motions with greater force. The ossicles serve to amplify tiny changes in air pressure.
Frequency theory of perception?
Frequency theory-holds that perception of pitch corresponds to the rate, or frequency, at which the entire basilar membrane vibs. Thus, sound causes the basilar membrane to vib at a corresponding rate and then auditory neurins fire at the same frequency.
Which theory does pitch perception follow inaccordance with?
Pitch perception depends on both place and freq coding of vibrations along the basilar membrane. Sounds under 1000Hz are transmitted via freq coding. Sounds between 1000-5 depend on combo of 2. Sounds over 5000 place only.
Name the three divisions of the ear.
external ear, middle ear, and inner ear
Auditory Localization?
Locating the source of sound in space(akin to depth perception in vison). This ability is contributed to in part by the way inwhich the ears are set apart.
Describe the external ear.
The external ear depends on vibration of air molecules.
Consists of pinna, a sound collecting cone. Sound waves collected by the pinna are funneled along the auditory canal toward the eardrum, a taut membrane that vibrates in response.
How does the volley principle account for the flaw found in the frequency theory.
Because neurons can fire at a max of 1000 impulses per second, how can a 4000Hz impulse be translated??? The volley principle (Wever & Bray) holds that groups of auditory nerves fire neural impulses in rapid succession, creating volleys of impulses which can exceed 4000 impulses per second.

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