Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2011 Sep;54(9):585-591. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.9.585.

Temporal Processing in the Auditory System

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University-Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul, Korea. drpark@snu.ac.kr


The auditory system recognized sound waves. The sound waves are longitudinal waves in the air, where the pressure varies in time. It is distinguished as the rapid pressure changes, referred to as 'fine structure', and slower overall changes of amplitude fluctuations, as 'envelope'. The auditory system has a limited ability to follow the time-varying envelope, and this ability is known as 'temporal resolution'. Our auditory system analyzes sound waves in frequency, intensity, and time domain. The understanding about frequency and intensity domain is relatively easy compare to time domain. Hearing threshold is measured by sound intensity in frequency domain. However the speech discrimination and understanding of the sentence in quiet and noise are associated with temporal resolution. So for the comprehensive understanding about the auditory system and hearing ability, we must extend our knowledge to the temporal ability of the auditory system.


Temporal processing; Auditory system
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