on Directional Hearing
(pdf 3.4 MB)
is an English translation of doctoral thesis published
originally in 1938 in German. The original thesis is
republished here in scanned pdf form:
über das Richtungshören
(pdf 9.2 MB)
It can be cited for example as:
A. Wilska, Studies on Directional Hearing.
English translation, Aalto University School of Science and
Technology, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics, 2010. PhD thesis
originally published in German as Untersuchungen über das Richtungshören, University of Helsinki, 1938.
The combination of both versions is available also in printed form from the Aalto University School of Science and
Technology, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics.
Wilska and his hearing research:
Alvar Wilska was born in Finland in 1911. He studied physiology in the
University of Helsinki under supervision of prof. Yrjö
Reenpää. Alvar Wilska was a multidisciplinary
researcher who showed also excellent engineering skills. His first
topic in hearing research was to measure the movement of the tympanic
membrane (1935), which is well known by the audiologists. After that he
started his doctoral thesis project which was finished in 1938. This
thesis shows how advanced experimental work he conducted, ahead of his
time, based on excellent knowledge on acoustics, physiology
and psychology of hearing, as well as electronics and audio techniques.
Unfortunately this remarkable work remained largely unknown as he
switched immediately after the thesis to study other topics such as
human vision and especially electron microscopes. Due to that, and
being written in German, the existence of this early work on
directional hearing was almost forgotten. Prof. Armin Kohlrausch
'rediscovered' the thesis and it was translated to English by Prof. Matti
Karjalainen with help from a group of experts. We hope that the
translation makes this pioneering work better known to the researchers
in the field.
Dr. Wilska spent most of his
research years as a professor in the University of Arizona,
Tuscon, (1960-78), developing electron
microscope technology. Then he returned back to Finland where he died
Alvar Wilska volunteered himself in hearing measurements.
Wilska's main interest in later years were microscopes.
April 5, 2011
Aalto University School of Science and Technology
Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics
Acoustical Society of Finland