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Title: Processing of signals in the peripheral auditory system in relation to aural perception
Author: Lynn, Paul Antony
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 1969
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This work is concerned with the nature of amplitude coding in the cochlea and, in particular with the main perceptual effects of interaural amplitude difference in binaural hearing. After an initial review of aspects of cochlear structure and function, some new binaural listening experiments are described. These utilise single and double acoustic pulse trains, filtered to eliminate confusion caused by multiple binaural images. It is concluded that the major perceptual effects can be explained if the temporal centre of gravity of neural responses, ensemble-averaged over many neural units in the relevant cochlear region, is assessed in auditory perception. Quantitative support for this view is available if neural activity recorded in the cat is paralleled in the human. It is thus argued that fine details of the peripheral neural response are closely related to aural perception phenomena. Existing models of the cochlear neural transduction have been found inadequate for the description of such details, and new models are therefore proposed and studied. Digital computer simulations of stochastic threshold systems and of the superposition of a number of random point sequences suggest that the statistics of spontaneous activity in eighth nerve fibres may be most satisfactorily explained on the latter basis; the possible causes of such an effect are explored. Electrical and chemical transmitter models of stimulated activity at the single afferent hair cell synapse are then investigated, in an attempt to reproduce the neural responses of interest. The difficulties of such an approach suggest a further proposition, which specifies a controlling action by. outer hair cells and spiral afferent fibres on radial afferent fibre activity. This scheme receives support both from recent anatomical evidence and from digital computer studies, and suggests the importance of the cochlear innervation pattern in peripheral signal processing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available