Auditory filter with minimum-uncertainty product between frequency and scale

Douglas H. Keefe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A scale representation of a signal describes its compression or dilation as a function of time or frequency. Because the frequency scaling properties of cochlear mechanics are slowly varying at frequencies above 1-1.5 kHz, a frequency-scale representation is of particular interest for auditory filters. An auditory filter is constructed based on the analytic signal with the minimum uncertainty product between frequency and scale. Its spectral and temporal properties are analyzed. The complex spectrum of the filter is completely specified as a function of the frequency relative to the center frequency of the filter, the filter Q, and the dimensionless group delay normalized by the number of periods at center frequency. In approximate agreement with basilar-membrane mechanics and human psychophysics, the frequency of peak spectral amplitude decreases by a half octave as tuning broadens, the peak spectral amplitude increases with sharper tuning, and the dimensionless group delay is independent of frequency. The peak envelope of the filter impulse response occurs at a time inversely proportional to the peak spectral frequency. Results are obtained on auditory phase perception for tones embedded in chirp maskers. A nonlinear filterbank composed of frequency-scale filters has potential applications in auditory research and audio engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2011
Event161st Meeting Acoustical Society of America 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: May 23 2011May 27 2011


Other161st Meeting Acoustical Society of America 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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