Questions and controversies surrounding the perception and neural coding of pitch

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2 Scopus citations


Pitch is a fundamental aspect of auditory perception that plays an important role in our ability to understand speech, appreciate music, and attend to one sound while ignoring others. The questions surrounding how pitch is represented in the auditory system, and how our percept relates to the underlying acoustic waveform, have been a topic of inquiry and debate for well over a century. New findings and technological innovations have led to challenges of some long-standing assumptions and have raised new questions. This article reviews some recent developments in the study of pitch coding and perception and focuses on the topic of how pitch information is extracted from peripheral representations based on frequency-to-place mapping (tonotopy), stimulus-driven auditory-nerve spike timing (phase locking), or a combination of both. Although a definitive resolution has proved elusive, the answers to these questions have potentially important implications for mitigating the effects of hearing loss via devices such as cochlear implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1074752
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 9 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant R01 DC005216).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Oxenham.


  • auditory neuroscience
  • auditory perception
  • cochlear filtering
  • computational models
  • phase locking
  • pitch

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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