BAS Message
May 2018

1. There will be a drawing for the annual Meeting Summary Writer bonus. Candidates are:
    John S. Allen — Museum of Broadcasting
    David Hadaway — Favorite Recordings
    Alvin Foster — Amplifier Clinic
    David Hadaway — Janszen Loudspeakers
    John S. Allen — Griesinger on Presence

2. The Shape of Your Ears Affects What You Hear

In “Ask Marilyn” in Parade Magazine a reader asks:

Since we have two ears, I can understand how we can tell whether sounds are coming from our left or right. But how can we tell if they’re coming from our front or back?

Marilyn responds: As those two ears are on opposite sides of our heads, they provide us with a great many clues about the location of the source. Even the tiniest differences in volume, timing, frequency and reverberation give us data...

Comment: If the sound is coming from the front and back, above and below there is no timing difference between the ears so we can't tell front from back or top from bottom. The outer ears (the pinnae) shade the sound and give us cues to tell front and back. Amazingly Marilyn doesn't mention this!

Researchers have found that filling in an external part of the ear with a small piece of silicone drastically changes people's ability to tell whether a sound came from above or below. But given time the brain adjusts to the new shape, regaining the ability to pinpoint sounds with almost the same accuracy as before.

The researchers are interested in finding out more about how a sound's height is perceived in the brain, especially sounds coming from behind. Such research could lead to better hearing devices.

NYT 13Mr18, Parade 8Ap18

email me here

...webmaster's note: Gosh, I've been doing that for years, especially with Ozzie Osbourne records. You would never actually listen to one of those atrocious things, would you?


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updated 5/16/18