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Communication Acoustics: An Introduction to Speech, Audio and Psychoacoustics by Matti Karjalainen, Ville Pulkki

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13 Auditory Modelling

Previous chapters addressed hearing and its capabilities, mainly from an experimental point of view, and a few phenomena were formulated mathematically. Such formulas may be thought to represent a mathematical model of the corresponding phenomenon. However, it is unlikely that a holistic mathematical model or a theory about the complete auditory system can ever be derived due to the enormous complexity of the system. Having said that, simplified mathematical theories are essential for determining causalities and for predicting the perception evoked by a given stimulus, which provides the evident need for experimental analysis and modelling of hearing.

Due to the complexity of the auditory system, computational processing of digitized signals has proven to be the best method to model the functionality of the system. Moreover, computational simulations can be used to design experiments addressing a specific part of the auditory system, which can potentially result in new hypotheses about the physiological functionality. Typically, these computational models are employed to study information processing in the auditory pathway and different input–output relationships.

An even stronger motivation for modelling hearing computationally originates from the engineering point of view, wherein a functional model enables emulating the functionality of hearing in numerous practical applications, especially if the model runs in real time. Such applications include, for ...

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