Dissertation Index

Author: Simpson, Jasba

Title: Cochlear Modeling of Sensory Dissonance and Chord Roots

Institution: University Of Waterloo

Begun: May 1993

Completed: April 1994


A cochlear model is used to explore the human perception of sensory dissonance and chord roots. Two studies are reported, one to address the origin of chord roots, and the other to establish neurophysiological correlates of sensory dissonance by comparing the model output to perceptual data from the experimental literature.

The most frequent account of chord roots is based on the harmonic series of complex tones. However, an alternate hypothesis is proposed based on a cochlear model. The roots for major and minor chords are found to correspond to the strongest peaks in periodicity representations of the chords.

Previous models of sensory dissonance (Plomp & Levelt, 1965; Kameoka & Kuriyagawa, 1969) have relied on perceptual data to generate their predictions while making no reference to the neurophysiology of the hearing mechanism. Of ten cochlear model features investigated, one feature is shown to correlate at an average of 0.75 with published experimental data concerning sensory dissonance. The findings also suggest that sensory dissonance cues are available at the hearing periphery, in keeping with the experimental literature.

In conclusion, the studies in sensory dissonance and chord roots provide promising results in accounting for complex auditory sensations using cochlear modeling.

Keywords: cochlear modeling, chord roots, sensory dissonance, auditory perception


1. Introduction
2. Background
2.1 Physiology of the auditory periphery
2.2 Cochlear modeling
2.3 Apple Computer, Inc.'s cochlear model
3. Chord roots
3.1 Background
3.2 Method
3.3 Results
3.4 Conclusion
4. Sensory dissonance
4.1 Background
4.2 Study
4.3 Approach
4.4 Perceptual data
4.4.1 Loudness
4.4.2 Single partial
4.4.3 Complex tones
4.4.4 Soft-single and loud-single
4.5 Method
4.5.1 Features
4.6 Results
4.7 Conclusion
5. Future research


4-247 Erb St. West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 1V8
Voice: (519) 725-0458 Fax: (519) 888-4521
e-mail: jasba@monet.uwaterloo.ca

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