week 8 – auditory system

Week 8 lecture was about auditory system. All in all auditory system felt a lot simpler and easier to understand than previous olfaction, gustation and vision. Chapters considering the eye and vision were especially hard so in contrast this auditory system was very intuitive and easy to understand. Especially tonotopic organisation felt very intuitive and information from outside world coded into action potentials was easy to understand. Of course the path from ears to the auditory cortex was simplified and only one major pathway was described.

This phase locking of lower frequencies was a new thing for me and it was quite efficient way of dividing the frequency range into two parts. I started to think that is there some evolutionary reason why phase locking is employed on lower frequency and tonotopy on higher frequency because that would imply that we are more capable of differentiating between lower frequencies than higher frequencies. Maybe it has been beneficial to hear lower frequencies for example speech very accurately.

Sound localisation was also very interesting and how we are able to locate the object with the shape of our ear. I wonder how those simulations of objects flying over us work with earplugs since earplugs are not able to reflect the sound from our ear pinna. Maybe the simulation just plays two sound with slightly different phase simultaneously.