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Fundaments of human hearing from nonlinear dynamics

Applicant Stoop Rudolf
Number 147010
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Neuroinformatik Universität Zürich Irchel und ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.05.2013 - 30.04.2016
Approved amount 182'494.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Physics
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences
Biophysics
Information Technology

Keywords (6)

Nonlinear Dynamics Principles of Hearing ; Pitch Sensation; Source Separation; Hearing Sensor Periphery; Cochlea Implants; Hearing Robots

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Schwierigkeiten in der Entwicklung intelligenter Maschinen, welche in schwierigem Umfeld Sprachquellen verfolgen und Mitteilungen im richtigen emotionellen Umfeld verstehen können, stellen für die heutige Informations- und Kommunkationstechnologie eine Hürde dar, die es zu überwinden gilt. In ähnlicher Weise beeinträchtigt die Unfähigkeit, dieses Problem zu lösen, auch die Entwicklung besserer Hörhilfen, etwa von Cochlea-Implantaten. 
Lay summary

In unserem Projekt erarbeiten wir die Gründe für das bisherige Versagen. Wir gehen davon aus, dass dies an den gegenwärtig zu komplizierten Konstruktionen der Hörsensorik liegt. Wir behaupten, dass die richtige physikalisch-mathematische Beschreibung der relevanten beteiligten biologischen Prozesse es ermöglicht, ihre Wirksamkeit bei gleichzeitiger Reduktion der Bauplankomplexität entscheidend zu steigern. Ansatzpunkt für diese Beschreibung sind die Prinzipien der Nichtlinearen Dynamik. Für den Hörsensor selber (die so genannte Cochlea), haben wir diesen Weg bereits beschritten. Unsere so konstruierte, patentierte Cochlea ist bei einem viel einfacheren Bauplan leistungsfähiger und naturnaher als Konkurrenzprodukte. Im gegenwärtigen Projekt geht es darum, alle Elemente der Peripherie des Hörsensors in derselben Art zu beschreiben und so den Sensor in die Lage zu bringen, einer übergeordneten Instanz folgend einer bestimmten Hörquelle in einem Signalgemisch gezielt zu folgen. Damit wird der Schritt vom bisherigen Hören zum gezielten Hinhören vollzogen.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.03.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Big data naturally rescaled
Stoop Ruedi, Kanders Karlis, Lorimer Tom, Held Jenny, Albert Carlo (2016), Big data naturally rescaled, in Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, 81.
Signal-coupled subthreshold Hopf-type systems show a sharpened collective response
Gomez Florian, Lorimer Tom, Stoop Ruedi (2016), Signal-coupled subthreshold Hopf-type systems show a sharpened collective response, in Physical Review Letters, (116), 108101.
Two universal physical principles shape the topological statistics of real-world networks
Lorimer Tom, Gomez Florian, Stoop Ruedi (2015), Two universal physical principles shape the topological statistics of real-world networks, in Scientific Reports, (5), 12353.
Macroscopic bursting in physiological networks: node or network property?
Ferrari Fabiano A.S., Viana Ricardo, Gomez Florian, Lorimer Tom, Stoop Ruedi (2015), Macroscopic bursting in physiological networks: node or network property?, in New Journal of Physics, (17), 055024.
Mammalian cochlea as a physics guided evolution-optimized hearing sensor
Lorimer Tom, Gomez Florian, Stoop Ruedi (2015), Mammalian cochlea as a physics guided evolution-optimized hearing sensor, in Scientific Reports, (5), 12353.
Mammalian pitch sensation shaped by the cochlear fluid
Gomez Florian, Stoop Ruedi (2014), Mammalian pitch sensation shaped by the cochlear fluid, in Nature Physics, (10), 510.
A Hierarchical Coding-Window Model of Parkinson's Disease
Andres D.S., Gomez F., Cerquetti D., Merello M. (2014), A Hierarchical Coding-Window Model of Parkinson's Disease, in Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems 2014, Albena, BulgariaSpringer, Cham, Switzerland.
Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music
Gomez F., Lorimer T., Stoop R. (2014), Complex Networks of Harmonic Structure in Classical Music, in Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems 2014, Alben, BulgariaSpringer, Cham, Switzerland.
Deviation from Criticality in Functional Biological Networks
Lorimer T., Gomez F., Stoop R. (2014), Deviation from Criticality in Functional Biological Networks, in Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems 2014, Albena, BulgariaSpringer CCIS 438, Cham, Switzerland.
How the Ear Tunes In to Sounds: A Physics Approach
Gomez F., Saase V., Buchheim N., Stoop R. (2014), How the Ear Tunes In to Sounds: A Physics Approach, in Physical Review Applied, (1), 014003.
Multiple-time-scale framework for understanding the progression of Parkinson's disease
Andres D.S., Gomez F., Ferrari F.A.S, Cerquetti D., Merello M., Viana R., Stoop R. (2014), Multiple-time-scale framework for understanding the progression of Parkinson's disease, in Physical Review E, (90), 062709.
Universal dynamical properties preclude standard clustering in a large class of biochemical data
Gomez F., Stoop R.L., Stoop R. (2014), Universal dynamical properties preclude standard clustering in a large class of biochemical data, in Bioinformatics, (30), 2486.
Pitch sensation involves stochastic resonance
Martignoli Stefan, Gomez Florian, Stoop Ruedi (2013), Pitch sensation involves stochastic resonance, in Scientific Reports, (4), 2676.
Auditory power-law activation avalanches exhibit a fundamental computational ground state
Stoop Ruedi, Gomez Florian, Auditory power-law activation avalanches exhibit a fundamental computational ground state, in Physical Review Letters, accepted 20. Mai 2016.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
O. Piro, Univ. Mallorca Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
C. Grebogi, Aberdeen Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
W. Mathis, Univ. Hannover Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
D. Gonzalez, Univ. Bologna Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
S. Boccaletti, Firenze Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
L.A. Bunimovich, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
NDES 2015 07.09.2015 Como, Italy
NOLTA 2015 Luzern 14.09.2014 Luzern, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) On Science - On Arts - On Society (Proc. of Digital Arts) A Full Understanding of Things, R. Stoop International 2015

Awards

Title Year
NDES Conference in Como: IEEE-sponsored 400E best student work award 2015
Best presentation award 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132881 Nonlinear dynamics origins of psychoacoustics from the Hopf amplifier concept 01.01.2011 Project funding
132881 Nonlinear dynamics origins of psychoacoustics from the Hopf amplifier concept 01.01.2011 Project funding

Abstract

The design of intelligent machines that not only communicate semantically with people, but also correctly interpret semantic contents in the emotional context, is pivotal for the development of ICT technologies and unavoidable for a beneficial use in society. This necessity is, in particular, a main bottleneck in the application of artificial intelligence to hearing. To resolve this problem, a number of diverse scientific and technical issues must be mastered. Profound knowledge must be acquired of how sound information is generated, monitored, and interpreted by the nervous system. Uncovering the general physical and the biophysical principles of sound information generation and decoding, fortunately, embodies the ability to implement these insights within lean and real-time capable technical frameworks. Presently, this level of knowledge is not achieved: A physics definition of the most relevant attributes of sound, pitch and timbre, is still essentially missing. The current common approach towards this goal is either by classical linear signal processing or by very detailed implementations of the biophysical templates of often unknown function. Due to the inherent complexity of both approaches, they have not led to efficient implementations of the functionalities required by artificial intelligence. As an example, the mammalian cochlea is fundamentally divergent in construction, functionality and performance from the essentially passive microphone systems used currently, designed only to convert sound pressure linearly into an electric voltage. The biological ear is a strongly nonlinear dynamical apparatus that not only detects sounds, but also provides great signal preprocessing. Nonetheless, its inherent nonlinear dynamics construction principles are relatively simple.We therefore propose a radically new paradigm. This paradigm is based on a simpler modelling level using the nonlinear dynamics approach, to provide an optimal solution to both the problem of understanding the auditory system at a fundamental level, and to obtain therefrom technological implementations with superior processing capabilities. Auditory processing in biological systems makes heavy use of collective, self-organizing processes, which are central manifestations of nonlinear dynamics. This key element is exploited by nature, but is missing in the complex artificial implementations of auditory systems. Our specific hypothesis is that most of the important features of hearing can be understood and be coded in terms of robust properties of moderately low dimensional dynamical systems. By using this approach for the cochlea, it has become possible to explain a large number of human sound perception phenomena from purely physical grounds. As probably the most important one, the perception of pitch has been explained, including, e.g. the frequency selectivity, nonlinear amplification, combination tone generation, suppression of neighbouring tones, the missing fundamental and the various pitch shift phenomena. Of interest is that all these phenomena are linked, where the link can easily be captured and exhibited in terms of notions of nonlinear dynamical systems. In our project we will apply this approach to understand unresolved phenomena of human and animal sound perception. We will interpret and study the biological peripheral circuitry (afferent and efferent connections to the cochlea) from a dynamical system point of view. The gained dynamical systems templates provide us with simple technical implementations that we will use to gain further insight into the biology blueprint’s nature, by comparing data from the implemented models with biological data. The paradigm will be cast into an expandable integrated hardware/software platform, that will reproduce the most salient aspects of natural hearing. Being fully accessible on all levels, the framework will be used at different stages of its completion not only as a test-bench for accepted concepts, but also as a predictive tool for unresolved aspects, and to explore the dynamical basis of less understood auditory features, paving the way for their implementation in working applications. We will primarily focus on the pitch as the acoustic feature, to be reproduced by the artificial cochlea and to be extracted by the constructed auditory platform. Pitch is not a fundamental physical quantity, but rather a program of extraction from a wave signal of arbitrary complexity; its evaluation demands both the ??correct generation of the pitch substrate in the cochlea, as well as the correct extraction of the feature. Pitch, moreover, is the fundamental quality used for efficient mono-channel voice separation and noise suppression.
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