Carnegie Mellon scientists show brain uses optimal code for sound
To gather sounds for their research, the scientists traipsed through the woods and recorded cracking branches, crunching leaves and wind rustling through leaves before returning to the laboratory to de-code the information contained in this rich set of sounds. They also discovered what they consider the most ‘natural’ sound: if they play back a random set of spikes, it sounds like running water.
‘We’re very excited about this work because we can give a simple theoretical account of the auditory code which predicts how we could optimize signal processing to one day allow for much more efficient data storage on everything from DVDs to iPods,’ Lewicki said.
When I read that, I remembered spending countless hours sitting by the Rhine when I was a boy, especially in the evenings, and I remembered reading this:
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
In the shade of a banyan tree, a grizzled ferryman sits listening to the river.