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Quadratic distortion in a nonlinear cascade model of the human cochlea

Amin Saremi
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 143 (2018), EL418


The cascade of asymmetric resonators with fast-acting compression (CARFAC) is a cascade filterbank model that performed well in a comparative study of cochlear models, but exhibited two anomalies in its frequency response and excitation pattern. It is shown here that the underlying reason is CARFAC's inclusion of quadratic distortion, which generates DC and low-frequency components that in a real cochlea would be canceled by reflections at the helicotrema, but since cascade filterbanks lack the reflection mechanism, these low-frequency components cause the observed anomalies. The simulations demonstrate that the anomalies disappear when the model's quadratic distortion parameter is zeroed, while other successful features of the model remain intact.

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