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Room reflections and constancy in speech-like sounds: within-band effects

By Anthony J Watkins, Andrew Raimond and Simon J. Makin


The experiment asks whether constancy in hearing precedes or follows grouping. Listeners heard speech-like\ud sounds comprising 8 auditory-filter shaped noise-bands that had temporal envelopes corresponding to those\ud arising in these filters when a speech message is played. The „context‟ words in the message were “next you‟ll\ud get _to click on”, into which a “sir” or “stir” test word was inserted. These test words were from an 11-step\ud continuum that was formed by amplitude modulation. Listeners identified the test words appropriately and quite\ud consistently, even though they had the „robotic‟ quality typical of this type of 8-band speech. The speech-like\ud effects of these sounds appears to be a consequence of auditory grouping. Constancy was assessed by comparing\ud the influence of room reflections on the test word across conditions where the context had either the same level\ud of reflections, or where it had a much lower level. Constancy effects were obtained with these 8-band sounds,\ud but only in „matched‟ conditions, where the room reflections were in the same bands in both the context and the\ud test word. This was not the case in a comparison „mismatched‟ condition, and here, no constancy effects were\ud found. It would appear that this type of constancy in hearing precedes the across-channel grouping whose\ud effects are so apparent in these sounds. This result is discussed in terms of the ubiquity of grouping across\ud different levels of representation

Publisher: Springer
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:16280

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