Auditory streaming and the building of timbre.

  • Bregman A
  • Pinker S
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In a natural environment, the auditory system must analyze an incoming wave train to determine 2 things: (a) which series of frequency components arose over time from the same source and should be integrated into a sequential stream, and (b) which set of simultaneous components arose from one source and should be fused into a timbre structure. In 4 experiments with a total of 90 undergraduates and graduate students and researchers, each S judged the stream organization and the timbre of a repeating cycle formed by a pair of more or less synchronous pure tones, B and C, and a preceding pure tone, A, whose frequency was varied in its proximity to that of the upper tone of the BC pair. These experiments demonstrated that fusion and sequential organization of streams are carried out using 2 sorts of information that compete to determine the best perceptual description of the input. Proximal frequencies between sequential components promote a sequential organization, and the simultaneity of onset of frequency components promotes perceptual fusion. (French summary) (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • A. S. Bregman

  • S. Pinker

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