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October 2021

[Spatial representation of basilar membrane movement with 3D computer graphics]

Author(s): Böhnke, F., Steinhoff, H. J.

Journal/Book: Hno. 1987; 35: 302-9.

Abstract: A mathematical model of the cochlea was implemented on a computer. The basilar membrane motion was computed for single, two, and multi-tone stimuli as well as for musical sounds and vowels. The pattern of the travelling waves were presented in three-dimensional color computer graphics. The high performance 3D graphics system performs local hidden surface removal, 3D geometric transformations and supports local lighting models to generate truly realistic shading for complex 3D objects. An addressable 1280 by 1024 pixel matrix assures crisp, precise resolution of the finest detail in the graphic images. The spatial pattern of basilar membrane motion conveys an impression of the image of acoustic stimuli on the basilar membrane. Firstly, the motion pattern of the travelling wave to a single tone is presented. The superposition of several tones (two-tone, multi-tone) causes a superposition of the travelling waves along the basilar membrane whereby the place principle in the cochlear partition becomes more clearly recognizable. Sounds (flute and violin) and vowels (German "u" and "i" ) evoke a complex motion pattern on the basilar membrane. The realization of the chronological order of movements on the basilar membrane can be made by computer animation. This enables the analysis of the space-time patterns of complex acoustic stimuli.

Keyword(s): Basilar Membrane|PH. Computer Graphics|. Labyrinth|PH

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