Switching the direction of hair cells

Kalman Rubinson kr4 at nyu.edu
Thu Jul 24 03:32:27 EST 2003

On 23 Jul 2003 08:39:18 +0100, glucegen at excite.com (Radium) wrote:

>No. In the norm, the higher-frequencies (moving hair cells in the
>front of the cochlea) are perceived as higher-pitched, while
>lower-frequencies (moving hair cells at the back of the cochlea) are
>perceived as low-pitched.
>If this was reversed it would be interesting. Lower-frequencies would
>be higher-pitched and higher-frequencies would be lower-pitched.

How can you possibly do this?  The direction of the pressure input is
not the issue; it is the dynamic properties of the basilar membrane
and the hair cells themselves.

>A cassette played at higher speed than recorded while sound abnormally
>low-pitched. If played at a lower speed than recorded, it would sound
>abnormally high-pitched.
>Faster vibrations would be lower-pitched and slower vibrations would
>be higher-pitched.
>I always wonder what it would be like.

You are describing your preconceptions of a transformation that has to
be made AFTER the hair cells.

>On my MIDI keyboard when I play a higher note for a tone instrument
>(e.g. an accordian) I feel the vibration to be faster. When playing a
>lower note, I feel the vibration to be slower. If the "pitch
>receptors" in my cochleae were switched, I would feel the higher-notes
>to vibrate slower than the lower-notes. Right?

Nah.  Just switch hands.


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