THIS BOOK IS about the auditory system—its remarkable capabilities, its quirkishness, and its surprising failures, particularly as revealed in our perception of music and speech. Over the last few years, scientists have made dramatic advances in understanding the nature of this system. These have involved research in many disciplines, including psychology, psychoacoustics, neuroscience, music theory, physics, engineering, computer science, and linguistics. I hope to convey to you some of the discoveries and conclusions that have resulted from these findings, from the involvement of different brain regions in analyzing the various characteristics of sound, to the principles by which we organize the patterns of sound we hear and represent them in memory. I will be focusing on my own research, and hope to communicate to you the excitement of carrying out explorations in this field, much of which is still uncharted territory, and where there are so many discoveries still to be made....
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