Historical Background to the Proposal, 40 Years Ago, of an Active Model for Cochlear Frequency Analysis

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA)


Professor Thomas Gold, FRS, is best known for his work in astronomy and cosmology — particularly the theory of continuous creation of matter, the nature of pulsars as rapidly-rotating high-density neutron stars, and his controvertial non-biological hypothesis for the origin of oil, currently receiving supporting evidence from a 6 km deep borehole in Sweden. He did, however, start his research career in hearing and published papers [1,2, see also 3] which although prophetic, were not accepted by the auditory establishment at the time.


Hair Cell Active Model Outer Hair Cell Basilar Membrane Frequency Discrimination 
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References and notes

  1. 1.
    Gold, T. and Pumphrey, R.J. (1948) Hearing I. The cochlea as a frequency analyzer. Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 135, 462–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gold, T. (1948) Hearing II. The physical basis of the action the action of the cochlea. Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 135, 492–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gold T. (1988) The theory of hearing. In Highlights in Science, Ed H. Messel, Pergmon Press, Sydney, pp. 149–157.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rhode, W.S. (1971) Observations on the basilar membrane in the squirrel monkeys using the Mössbauer technique. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 49, 1218–1231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Békésy, G. von (1949) On the resonance curve and decay period at various points on the cochlear partition. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 21, 245–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    See ref. 1, Fig. 9.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Glanville J.D., Coles R.R.A. Sullivan B.M. (1971). A family with high-tonal objective tinnitus. J. Laryngol. Otol. 85, 1–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wilson, J.P. and Sutton, G.J. (1983) “A family with high-tonal objective tinnitus” — an update. In: Hearing — Physiological Bases and Psychophysics (Eds: Klinke, R. and Hartmann, R.) Springer, Berlin, pp. 97–103.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Brownell, W.E. (1983) Observations on a motile response in isolated outer hair cells. In: Mechanisms of Hearing (Eds: Webster, W.R. and Aitkin, L.M.) Monash Univ. Press, Clayton, pp. 5–10.Google Scholar
  10. Brownell, W.E., Barder C.D., Bertrand D., DeRibaupierre Y., (1985) Evoked mechanical responses of isoloated cochlear outer hair cells. Science 227, 194–196.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 9.
    Kemp, D.T. (1978) Stimulated acoustic emissions from the human auditory system. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 64, 1386–1391.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kemp D.T. (1987) Hearing in Focus? In Royal Institution Proceedings Vol 59. Ed. D. Phillips, I. Williams, S.T. Nash, pp. 185-213.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Wilson, J.P. (1980) Model for cochlear echoes and tinnitus based on an observed electrical correlate. Hear. Res., 2, 527–532.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wilson, J.P. (1980) Model for cochlear function and acoustic re-emission. In: Psychophysical, Physiological and Behavioural Studies in Hearing. (Eds: G. van den Brink and F.A. Bilsen) Delft University Press, pp.72-73.Google Scholar
  15. Sutton, G.J. and Wilson, J.P. (1983) Modelling cochlear echoes: the influence of irregularities in frequency mapping on summed cochlear activity. In: Mechanics of Hearing (Eds: E. de Boer and M.A. Viergever) Delft Univ. Press, pp. 83-93.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Radiophysics and Space ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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