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April 1956

The pitch-Discriminative Function of the pathological Ear

Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.; U. S. Army

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1956;63(4):411-418. doi:10.1001/archotol.1956.03830100069015

One of the major problems in the field of audition concerns the way by which we perceive pitch. There is a wealth of data which indicates that high tones are mediated in the basal portion of the cochlea and low tones are mediated throughout the cochlea. Although this report is not intended to review these data, some of the experiments directly related to this hypothesis will be mentioned briefly. Crowe and co-workers1 conducted postmortem histological examinations of the cochleas of patients with high-tone hearing losses. They found that damage to the hair cells and nerve endings was restricted to the base of the cochlea. When lesions were restricted to the upper regions of the cochlea, however, there was no concomitant hearing loss for the low frequencies.2 Indeed, lesions produced experimentally to the apex of the cochlea cause some hearing loss for low tones, but the impairment is not

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