Open Access

Neuromimetic Sound Representation for Percept Detection and Manipulation

  • Dmitry N. Zotkin1Email author,
  • Taishih Chi2,
  • Shihab A. Shamma2 and
  • Ramani Duraiswami1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:486137

Received: 2 November 2003

Published: 21 June 2005


The acoustic wave received at the ears is processed by the human auditory system to separate different sounds along the intensity, pitch, and timbre dimensions. Conventional Fourier-based signal processing, while endowed with fast algorithms, is unable to easily represent a signal along these attributes. In this paper, we discuss the creation of maximally separable sounds in auditory user interfaces and use a recently proposed cortical sound representation, which performs a biomimetic decomposition of an acoustic signal, to represent and manipulate sound for this purpose. We briefly overview algorithms for obtaining, manipulating, and inverting a cortical representation of a sound and describe algorithms for manipulating signal pitch and timbre separately. The algorithms are also used to create sound of an instrument between a "guitar" and a "trumpet." Excellent sound quality can be achieved if processing time is not a concern, and intelligible signals can be reconstructed in reasonable processing time (about ten seconds of computational time for a one-second signal sampled at ). Work on bringing the algorithms into the real-time processing domain is ongoing.

Keywords and phrases

anthropomorphic algorithmspitch detectionhuman sound perception

Authors’ Affiliations

Perceptual Interfaces and Reality Laboratory, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Neural Systems Laboratory, The Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, USA


© Zotkin et al. 2005