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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Pitch Perception

 Perfecting Pitch Perception

MIT News, Jennifer Michalowski, December 17, 2021

Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a computational model trained using music, voices, and other naturalistic sounds to determine how humans perceive pitch. Their findings could help researchers reproduce pitch perception in cochlear implants. The researchers asked a deep neural network to identify the repetition rate of sounds in a training set to train it to estimate pitch. MIT's Mark Saddler said, "We very nicely replicated many characteristics of human perception ... suggesting that it's using similar cues from the sounds and the cochlear representation to do the task." Among other things, they determined that nerve cells fire in time with the sound vibrations that reach the inner ear. Said MIT's Josh McDermott, "For cochlear implants to produce normal pitch perception, there needs to be a way to reproduce the fine-grained timing information in the auditory nerve."

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