Mammalian behavior and physiology converge to confirm sharper cochlear tuning in humans

Sumner, C.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-2573-7418, Wells, T.T., Bergevin, C., Sollini, J., Kreft, H.A., Palmer, A.R., Oxenham, A.J. and Shera, C.A., 2018. Mammalian behavior and physiology converge to confirm sharper cochlear tuning in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (44), pp. 11322-11326. ISSN 0027-8424

[img]
Preview
Text
13359_Sumner.pdf - Post-print

Download (329kB) | Preview

Abstract

Frequency analysis of sound by the cochlea is the most fundamental property of the auditory system. Despite its importance, the resolution of this frequency analysis in humans remains controversial. The controversy persists because the methods used to estimate tuning in humans are indirect and have not all been independently validated in other species. Some data suggest that human cochlear tuning is considerably sharper than that of laboratory animals, while others suggest little or no difference between species. We show here in a single species (ferret) that behavioral estimates of tuning bandwidths obtained using perceptual masking methods, and objective estimates obtained using otoacoustic emissions, both also employed in humans, agree closely with direct physiological measurements from single auditory-nerve fibers. Combined with human behavioral data, this outcome indicates that the frequency analysis performed by the human cochlea is of significantly higher resolution than found in common laboratory animals. This finding raises important questions about the evolutionary origins of human cochlear tuning, its role in the emergence of speech communication, and the mechanisms underlying our ability to separate and process natural sounds in complex acoustic environments.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Creators: Sumner, C.J., Wells, T.T., Bergevin, C., Sollini, J., Kreft, H.A., Palmer, A.R., Oxenham, A.J. and Shera, C.A.
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Date: 30 October 2018
Volume: 115
Number: 44
ISSN: 0027-8424
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1073/pnas.1810766115DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 27 Feb 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2019 09:04
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35819

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year