The Dynamic Range Problem: Place and Time Coding at the Level of Cochlear Nerve and Nucleus

  • E. F. Evans


The greatest obstacle to a straightforward acceptance of the ‘place’ theory of the coding of frequency in the auditory system is the ‘dynamic range problem’ (Evans, 1977ab, 1978ab, 1980a). It is an everyday experience that our ears can operate over an amazingly large dynamic range approaching 100dB, yet the dynamic range of the great majority of cochlear nerve fibres is remarkably limited. The solution to this problem has implications both for our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of the neural coding of auditory stimuli (Evans, 1978a) and for the design of multi-channel electrical prostheses intended to impart speech information to the profoundly hearing impaired (Evans, 1978b). This paper briefly reviews the problem and discusses various possible solutions in the light of recent physiological data.


Discharge Rate Auditory Nerve Cochlear Nucleus Automatic Gain Control Cochlear Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. F. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and NeuroscienceUniversity of KeeleStaffsUK

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