The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Tinnitus: An Abstract View Emphasizing Signal, Noise, and Their Discrimination

Author(s): Uwe Saint-Mont

Most research on the hearing process and its pathologies is biological in nature. However, engineers work on similar problems, in particular signal detection, efficient information processing and noise suppression. On a more abstract level, hearing can also be treated as a discrimination task, something which is well known to statistics. The goal of this note is to explore the implications of these more abstract ideas: It merges that the signal-to-noise ratio and the construction of a suitable discrimination function are crucial elements of the hearing process. Hopefully such a theoretical point of view may facilitate a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved. Perception fallacies such as phantom sounds or optical illusions are not just interesting in their own right; they open up a direct path to the deeper workings of perceptual processes. In order to be accessible to researchers in the field, this note is rather non-technical

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