A Caltech Library Service

An Analog Electronic Cochlea

Lyon, Richard F. and Mead, Carver (1990) An Analog Electronic Cochlea. In: Artificial neural networks : electronic implementations. IEEE Computer Society Press , Los Alamitos, CA, pp. 79-94. ISBN 0818620293.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


An engineered system that hears, such as a speech recognizer, can be designed by modeling the cochlea, or inner ear, and higher levels of the auditory nervous system. To be useful in such a system, a model of the cochlea should incorporate a variety of known effects, such as an asymmetric low-pass/bandpass response at each output channel, a short ringing time, and active adaptation to a wide range of input signal levels. An analog electronic cochlea has been built in CMOS VLSI technology using micropower techniques to achieve this goal of usefulness via realism. The key point of the model and circuit is that a cascade of simple, nearly linear, second-order filter stages with controllable Q parameters suffices to capture the physics of the fluid-dynamic traveling-wave system in the cochlea, including the effects of adaptation and active gain involving the outer hair cells. Measurements on the test chip suggest that the circuit matches both the theory and observations from real cochleas.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemArticle
Additional Information:Copyright © 1988 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Reprinted from Transactions on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Vol. 36, No. 7, July 1988, pages 1119-1134. Manuscript received February 22, 1988. This work was supported by the System Development Foundation and by Schlumberger Palo Alto Research. IEEE Log Number 8821363. The assistance of DARPA's MOSIS chip fabrication service was vital to this research and is greatly appreciated.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
System Development FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Schlumberger Palo Alto ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141222-163913984
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53125
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:23 Dec 2014 16:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:47

Repository Staff Only: item control page