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What determines the frequency range we can hear?

rico r turboflier at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 30 02:21:59 EST 2001

How come bats can hear up to 130 kHz while we can hear up to 20 kHz? 
Obviously we dont NEED to hear a such a high frequency, but what determines 
the frequencies we can hear? Does it have anything to do with the size and 
structure of the cochlea (or the sensory hairs)? Also, do specific nerves 
respond for specific frequencies, or do the impulses just get faster? I 
would imagine that individual nerves fire for a specific frequency, and how 
fast they fire determines the volume of the sound.  I was just curious 
because i cant give myself any reasonable explanation, nor could i find one. 

Rico Reyes
High School Senior
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