Pantev, C., Elbert, T., Ross, B., Eulitz, C., Terhardt, E. (1996). Binaural fusion and the representation of virtual pitch in the human auditory cortex. Hear. Res. 100, 164-170
The auditory system derives the pitch of complex tones from the tone's harmonics. Research in psychoacoustics predicted that binaural fusion was an important feature of pitch processing. Based on neuromagnetig human data, the first neurophysiological confirmation of binaural fusion in hearing is presented. The centre of activation within the cortical tonotopic map corresponds to the location of the perceived pitch and not to the locations that are activated when the single frequency constituents are presented. This is also true when the different harmonics of a complex tone are presented dichotically. We conclude that the pitch processor includes binaural fusion to determine the particular pitch location which is activated in the auditory cortex.