A Brief History of Auditory Models

Leonardo C. Araújo
Tairone N. Magalhaes
Damares P. M. Souza
Hani C. Yehia
Maurício A. Loureiro

CEFALA - Center for Research on Speech, Acoustics, Language and Music
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
CPDEE-Centro de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento em Engenharia Elétrica, room 214
Av. Antônio Carlos 6627 ­ 31270-010 Belo Horizonte, MG


This work presents a brief description of the human auditory system together with the history of human comprehension of the auditory function, its main features, and classic models used to represent it. First, a historical view of the hearing apparatus is presented. After that, the physiology of the peripheral auditory system is described. The process of acoustic propagation throughthe outer, middle and inner ear, as well as the mechanism of transformation of cochlea inner hair cell motion into neuron spikes are explained. Next, Flanagan's mathematical representation (based on physiological data acquired by von Békésy) of the passive relation between the sound that reachesthe outer ear and the motion of the cochlea basilar membrane. Flanagan's model is followed by Lyon's model of the cochlea, Meddis' model of the inner hair cell, and Patterson's Auditory Image Model. Finally, the IPEM Toolbox is introduced as an example of music analysis system that incorporates an auditory model to perform acoustic analysis of sound based on human perception.

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