Switching the direction of hair cells

Kalman Rubinson kr4 at nyu.edu
Mon Jul 28 03:56:44 EST 2003

On 25 Jul 2003 11:49:52 +0100, glucegen at excite.com (Radium) wrote:

>Actually the pitch perception has to do with the nerve endings
>supplying hair cells, the location of those nerve ending, the types of
>signals made by those nerve endings, and the amount of the nerve
>endings stimulated in the particular area of the cochlear hairs.
>Sound that stimulates hairs in the entrance of the cochlea is
>perceived as higher-pitched than sound that stimulates hairs in the
>back the the cochlea because that is what our brains interpret it as.

Exactly but not so much because of their position but because of the
dynamics of the basilar membrane.  It is narrower at the base, wider
at the apex and that won't change if the mechanical signal is injected
at the other end.

>Information from nerve-endings in the front of the cochlea activate a
>different portion of the auditory cortex and thus produce a different
>pitch perception than information from nerve-endings in the rear of
>the cochlea.


>The sound itself has little to do with pitch perception. It is the
>nervous system from the inner ear to the brain which is most

I think you are right but somewhat simplistic in that the perception
has, through experience, become coupled with the stimulus.


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