Week 8. Audition

In this week’s lecture we learned about the complexities of human auditory system. In the human ear, from the pinna the waves are funneled further to auditory canal, then onto the ear drum (tympanic membrane), which causes the ossicles to vibrate, thus the oval window is moved, which causes the fluid inside the cochlea to move back and forth, it goes back to the circular or round window. And all the way in the middle of the cochlea there is a membrane called the organ of Corti, which has basilar membrane and tectorial membrane: from the organ of Corti the sounds can be further transmitted to the primary auditory cortex to be processed.

At the lecture we watched a pretty cool video where a piece of music when listened, vibrates the whole membrane according to its frequencies, the base with higher frequencies, the apex for lower frequencies.

Also an interesting picture shown at lecture was the one where you can see that a characteristic frequency for a neuron will produce the highest amount of spikes for a specific ganglion cell. This of course makes perfect sense as you have to have specialization and not all the cells responding to everything but at the same time these intricate mechanisms are always mind-boggling!

In the end we could fool ourselves with the McGurk effect and this is an interesting one to think about in general, would be interesting to see how this type of things manifest themselves in other senses than audition. For example visual information in a way “messing” with your sense of feeling, taste or smell, or the other way around.