The Interferometer Paradigm for Mammalian Binaural Hearing
Binaural (stereo) hearing in man and other mammals may be modelled by an interferometric array paradigm. The well known use of amplitude differences at the two ears is but one of several relevant observables, which also include phase delay and group delay differences, as well as their respective rates. This two element interferometer appears to be nonlinear and spectral. Beam synthesis occurs with the decoding of harmonic information and the generation of pseudo-UV coverage through cochlear overtone production. Diffraction limiting may be overcome through such overtone generation. The precision or ‘localization’ of the synthesized beam may be achieved through rapid (of order microseconds) beam nodding, with acuity limited by the delay resolution of the interferometric processing--this has been measured to be less than 10 microseconds in man. Interferometric rejection is used to distinguish particular sounds in a noisy environment (the ‘cocktail party effect’).
KeywordsNoisy Environment Amplitude Difference Phase Coherence Respective Rate Delay Resolution
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