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September 2021

Effects of differences in timbre on sequential grouping

Author(s): Roberts, B.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 2000; 62: 1112-20.

Abstract: Differences in the timbre of sounds in a sequence can affect their perceptual organization. Using a performance measure, Hartmann and Johnson (1991) concluded that streaming could be predicted primarily by the extent to which sounds were passed by different peripheral channels. However, results from a rating task by Dannenbring and Bregman (1976) suggested that sounds in the same spectral region (passed by the same peripheral channels) can be allocated to different streams. In Experiment 1, it was found, using an interleaved melody task, that target sounds could be selected from distractors in the same spectral region more easily when they differed in timbre. This finding might result from primitive stream segregation or schema-driven selection, but not from peripheral channeling. In Experiment 2, a rhythm discrimination task was used, requiring the sounds to be integrated for good performance. Differences in timbre impaired performance, indicating the occurrence of primitive stream segregation.

Keyword(s): Attention. Human. Music. Pitch Discrimination. Psychoacoustics. Sound Spectrography. Time Perception

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