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January 2022

Measuring the difference limen for identification of order of onset for complex auditory stimuli

Author(s): Farrington, S. M.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 1996; 58: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 510-526.

Abstract: The approximately 20-msec perceptual threshold for identifying order of onset for components of auditory stimuli has been considered both as a possible factor contributing to the perception of voicing contrasts in speech and as no more than a methodological artifact. In the present research, we investigate the identification of the temporal order of onset of spectral components in terms of the first of a sequence of thresholds for complex stimuli (modeled after consonant-vowel [CV] syllables) that vary in degree of onset. The results provide clear evidence that the difference limen (DL) for discriminating differences in onset time follows predictions based on a fixed perceptual threshold or limit at relatively short onset differences. Furthermore, the DL seems to be a function of context coding of stimulus information, with both the DL and absolute threshold probably reflecting limits on the effective perception and coding of the short-term stimulus spectrum.

Note: Article RE Pastore, SUNY Binghamton, Dept Psychol, Psychoacoust & Auditory Cognit Lab, Binghamton, NY 13902 USA


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