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Upper Limit of Frequency for Human Hearing


THE frequency above which air-borne sound becomes inaudible is generally considered to be about 20 kc./s. All sensitivity determinations agree that the threshold rises very steeply above 12 kc./s.; and above 12 kc./s. there are indications that frequency discrimination begins to fail, that is, that the least discriminable increment of frequency measured as a fraction of an octave begins to rise sharply. It seems to have been tacitly assumed that the human cochlea is incapable of response to frequencies above 20 kc./s., and that the upper limit for air-borne and bone-conducted sound is the same.

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PUMPHREY, R. Upper Limit of Frequency for Human Hearing. Nature 166, 571 (1950).

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