Not surprising

MindMatters is citing a ‘surprising’ research finding that isn’t surprising.

For the past 100 years, we have believed that each sensory cell has its own “optimal frequency” (a measure of the number of sound waves per second). The hair cell responds most strongly to this frequency. This idea means that a sensory cell with an optimal frequency of 1000 Hz would respond much less strongly to sounds with a frequency slightly lower or higher. It has also been assumed that all parts of the cochlea work in the same way. Now, however, a research team has discovered that this is not the case for sensory cells that process sound with frequencies under 1000 Hz, considered to be low-frequency sound. The vowel sounds in human speech lie in this area.

Not new, not surprising.  The dividing line by freq has been extremely well-known and understood for at least 50 years. All hair cells respond ‘in real time’, wiggling along with each wave, for freqs under 1200. The harp-like standing wave system cuts in for freqs above 1200.

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Sidenote: The title of this blog really should be “No, it’s not new!”

For the last six months the title should be “No, it’s not new, and Frank Edwards said so!”

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