Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Auditory Processing

  • Scott L. DeckerEmail author
  • Rachel M. Bridges
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1437


Auditory processing is used to describe the manner in which sound waves are transformed into neurological impulses and subsequently decoded by the primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe of the brain. Simply put, object vibration causes surrounding molecules of air to condense and pull apart, producing waves that travel away from the object. Receptor cells within our ears will be stimulated if the vibration ranges between approximately 30 and 20,000 times per second (Carlson 2007). These waves will then be perceived as sound.

There are three dimensions of sound: pitch, loudness, and timbre. The pitch of an auditory stimulus is determined by the frequency of repetitive (cyclic) vibrations per second (Hertz); a “high-pitch” sound has a high frequency of vibrations per second, whereas a “low-pitch” sound has a low frequency of vibrations per second. The loudness, or intensity, of a sound determines if it is perceived as “loud” or “soft” – vigorous vibrations of an object...

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References and Readings

  1. Carlson, N. R. (2007). Physiology of behavior (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  2. Gazzaniga, M. S., Ivry, R. B., & Mangun, G. R. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience: The biology of the mind (4th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA