Does pitch perception shift up while growing up?

  • Thread starter jfizzix
  • Start date
  • #1
jfizzix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
757
355
I think this question boils down to whether the parts of the inner ear grow from say age 6 to age 26.

My thought is that if the parts of the inner inner ear do grow a little, then their response to what was a shorter wavelength of sound in the past will be the same as to what is a longer wavelength of sound in the present. Alternatively, what a C note feels like when learning on the piano as a child, might feel up to a half step lower compared to the same note played as an adult.

If there's anyone with perfect pitch who can confirm or deny this, I would be interested. Thoughts?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,419
1,504
Speed of sound is around 300 m/s, and dimensions of inner ear are measured in mm to cm. What do those two bits of information imply?
 
  • Like
Likes jim mcnamara
  • #4
jfizzix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
757
355
Hmm. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970226/
In humans the size of cochlea reaches adult size BEFORE birth, while the child is still inside Mom.

Think about why this is the case. @Bystander gave you a strong hint.

It would make it so that the range of frequencies newborns can hear is on par with the range of frequencies parents can hear, since similarly sized cochlea, ought to respond similarly to the same wavelengths.
 
  • Like
Likes jim mcnamara
  • #5
jfizzix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
757
355
Speed of sound is around 300 m/s, and dimensions of inner ear are measured in mm to cm. What do those two bits of information imply?

Are you trying to get that the "resonant" frequency of the inner ear would be about 30 kHz to 300 kHz (i.e. speed/wavelength)?
If we think of the cochlea as some sort of acoustic waveguide, the speed of sound in the cochlear fluid (water) would be more like 1500m/s, which would make the resonant frequency 5 times higher.

I think I'm totally not getting what you're trying to get me to see. Can you tell me more?
 
  • #6
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,419
1,504
"resonant" frequency of the inner ear would be about 30 kHz to 300 kHz (i.e. speed/wavelength)?
That's it, no need to overthink it.
 
  • #7
Laroxe
Science Advisor
503
572
I don't know if I'm understanding what your after but there is more to hearing than the shape of the inner ear and we start to loose some sensitivity quite early, young children are more likely to have a greater frequency range than parents. Reference charts are available and in this one its suggested that music appreciation might be effected from 35 onward.
 

Attachments

  • hearing.jpg
    hearing.jpg
    21 KB · Views: 445
  • #8
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,690
3,633
Last edited:

Suggested for: Does pitch perception shift up while growing up?

Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
577
Replies
8
Views
836
Replies
1
Views
599
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
834
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
529
Replies
1
Views
512
Top