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July 2021

Evidence for auditory feature integration with spatially distributed items

Author(s): Pastore, R. E., Acker, B. E., Huang, W. Y.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 2000; 62: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 1243-1257.

Abstract: Recent auditory research using sequentially presented, spatially fixed tones has found evidence that, as in vision for simultaneous, spatially distributed objects, attention appears to be important for the integration of perceptual features that enable the identification of auditory events. The present investigation extended these findings to arrays of simultaneously presented, spatially distributed musical tones. In the primary tasks, listeners were required to search for specific cued conjunctions of values for the features of pitch and instrument timbre. In secondary tasks, listeners were required to search for a single cued value of either the pitch or the timbre feature. In the primary tasks, listeners made frequent errors in reporting the presence or absence of target conjunctions. Probability modeling, derived from the visual search literature, revealed that the error rates in the primary tasks reflected the relatively infrequent failure to correctly identify pitch or timbre features, plus the far more frequent illusory conjunction of separately presented pitch and timbre features. Estimates of illusory conjunction rate ranged from 23% to 40%. Thus, a process must exist in audition that integrates separately registered features. The implications of the results for the processing of isolated auditory features, as well as auditory events defined by conjunctions of features, are discussed.

Note: Article Hall MD, Univ Nevada, Dept Psychol, Box 455030, Las Vegas,NV 89154 USA


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