Origins: Brain and Self Organization

By Karl Pribram | Go to book overview

of forks all at the same time, so as to make the shocks which come from them ever so great, the A fork will not join in the vibrations unless another fork A in the collection struck. It picks out, in other words, from all the notes sounded, that which accords with it.

"The same is true of all bodies which can yield notes. Tumblers resound when a piano is played, on the striking of certain notes, and so do window panes. Nor is the phenomenon without analogy in different provinces. Take a dog that answers to the name "Nero." He lies under your table. You speak of Domitian, Vespasian, and Marcus Aurelius Antonius, you call upon all the Roman Emperors that occur to you, but the dog does not stir, although a slight tremor of his ear tells you of a faint response of his consciousness. But the moment you call "Nero" he jumps joyfully towards you. The tuning fork is like your dog. It answers to the name A."( Mach 1865)


Acknowledgments

The opinions expressed herein are solely my own. I would like to thank Nelson Kiang for many insight-provoking discussions and for the use of his excellent library, Professor Frederick Werner for his kind encouragement, and Bertrand Delgutte for his experimental and experiential wisdom. The auditory experiments cited were supported by N.I.H. DC00038 and DC00119.


References

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Arbib, Michael A. The Metaphorical Brain 2: Neural Nets and Beyond. New York: John Wiley, 1989.

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Boomsliter, Paul and Warren Creel. "The long pattern hypothesis in harmony and hearing." Journal of Music Theory 5 ( 1962): 2-31.

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