A model describing nonlinearities in hearing by active processes with saturation at 40 dB

Biol Cybern. 1979 Dec;35(4):243-50. doi: 10.1007/BF00344207.


Data from literature related to nonlinearities of the peripheral part of the hearing system are collected and extended by results from measurements of acoustical responses, masking, cubic difference tones and Zwicker tones. The data indicate 40 dB as a significant value for the dynamic range in neurophysiology as well as for the sensation level in psychoacoustics dividing the total level range into two areas of different characteristics. A preliminary model assuming that the outer hair cells act as an amplifier which contains saturation (corresponding to 40 dB) and feed back to sensitize the inner hair cells is used to describe the measured effects at least qualitatively.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Fatigue
  • Basilar Membrane / physiology
  • Cochlea / physiology
  • Cochlear Nerve / physiology
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / physiology
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Noise
  • Psychoacoustics*
  • Sound