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auditory scene

Matthias Hartmann, Jochen Laubrock, Martin H Fischer
In the domain of language research, the simultaneous presentation of a visual scene and its auditory description (i.e., the visual world paradigm) has been used to reveal the timing of mental mechanisms. Here we apply this rationale to the domain of numerical cognition in order to explore the differences between fast and slow arithmetic performance, and to further study the role of spatial-numerical associations during mental arithmetic. We presented 30 healthy adults simultaneously with visual displays containing four numbers and with auditory addition and subtraction problems...
October 19, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Harun Karimpur, Kai Hamburger
Spatial representations are a result of multisensory information integration. More recent findings suggest that the multisensory information processing of a scene can be facilitated when paired with a semantically congruent auditory signal. This congruency effect was taken as evidence that audio-visual integration occurs for complex scenes. As navigation in our environment consists of a seamless integration of complex sceneries, a fundamental question arises: how is human landmark-based wayfinding affected by multimodality? In order to address this question, two experiments were conducted in a virtual environment...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Simon J Hazenberg, Rob van Lier
In three experiments, we investigated the influence of object-specific sounds on haptic scene recognition without vision. Blindfolded participants had to recognize, through touch, spatial scenes comprising six objects that were placed on a round platform. Critically, in half of the trials, object-specific sounds were played when objects were touched (bimodal condition), while sounds were turned off in the other half of the trials (unimodal condition). After first exploring the scene, two objects were swapped and the task was to report, which of the objects swapped positions...
July 2016: I-Perception
Maria Mittag, Rika Takegata, István Winkler
UNLABELLED: Representations encoding the probabilities of auditory events do not directly support predictive processing. In contrast, information about the probability with which a given sound follows another (transitional probability) allows predictions of upcoming sounds. We tested whether behavioral and cortical auditory deviance detection (the latter indexed by the mismatch negativity event-related potential) relies on probabilities of sound patterns or on transitional probabilities...
September 14, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Gillian Murphy, Ciara M Greene
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Reinier J Jansen, Ben D Sawyer, René van Egmond, Huib de Ridder, Peter A Hancock
OBJECTIVE: We examine how transitions in task demand are manifested in mental workload and performance in a dual-task setting. BACKGROUND: Hysteresis has been defined as the ongoing influence of demand levels prior to a demand transition. Authors of previous studies predominantly examined hysteretic effects in terms of performance. However, little is known about the temporal development of hysteresis in mental workload. METHOD: A simulated driving task was combined with an auditory memory task...
September 9, 2016: Human Factors
Ediz Sohoglu, Maria Chait
We use psychophysics and MEG to test how sensitivity to input statistics facilitates auditory-scene-analysis (ASA). Human subjects listened to 'scenes' comprised of concurrent tone-pip streams (sources). On occasional trials a new source appeared partway. Listeners were more accurate and quicker to detect source appearance in scenes comprised of temporally-regular (REG), rather than random (RAND), sources. MEG in passive listeners and those actively detecting appearance events revealed increased sustained activity in auditory and parietal cortex in REG relative to RAND scenes, emerging ~400 ms of scene-onset...
2016: ELife
Theofilos Petsas, Jemma Harrison, Makio Kashino, Shigeto Furukawa, Maria Chait
In this series of behavioural experiments we investigated the effect of distraction on the maintenance of acoustic scene information in short-term memory. Stimuli are artificial acoustic 'scenes' composed of several (up to twelve) concurrent tone-pip streams ('sources'). A gap (1000 ms) is inserted partway through the 'scene'; Changes in the form of an appearance of a new source or disappearance of an existing source, occur after the gap in 50% of the trials. Listeners were instructed to monitor the unfolding 'soundscapes' for these events...
September 2, 2016: Hearing Research
Chhayakanta Patro, Lisa Lucks Mendel
Understanding speech within an auditory scene is constantly challenged by interfering noise in suboptimal listening environments when noise hinders the continuity of the speech stream. In such instances, a typical auditory-cognitive system perceptually integrates available speech information and "fills in" missing information in the light of semantic context. However, individuals with cochlear implants (CIs) find it difficult and effortful to understand interrupted speech compared to their normal hearing counterparts...
August 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Jeremy J Donai, Rachel M Halbritter
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of normal-hearing listeners to use high-frequency energy for gender identification from naturally produced speech signals. DESIGN: Two experiments were conducted using a repeated-measures design. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of increasing high-pass filter cutoff (i.e., increasing the low-frequency spectral limit) on gender identification from naturally produced vowel segments. Experiment 2 studied the effects of increasing high-pass filter cutoff on gender identification from naturally produced sentences...
August 22, 2016: Ear and Hearing
Dean F Salisbury, Alexis G McCathern
The simple mismatch negativity (MMN) to tones deviating physically (in pitch, loudness, duration, etc.) from repeated standard tones is robustly reduced in schizophrenia. Although generally interpreted to reflect memory or cognitive processes, simple MMN likely contains some activity from non-adapted sensory cells, clouding what process is affected in schizophrenia. Research in healthy participants has demonstrated that MMN can be elicited by deviations from abstract auditory patterns and complex rules that do not cause sensory adaptation...
November 2016: Brain Topography
Fran López-Caballero, Katarzyna Zarnowiec, Carles Escera
Deviance detection is a key functional property of the auditory system that allows pre-attentive discrimination of incoming stimuli not conforming to a rule extracted from the ongoing constant stimulation, thereby proving that regularities in the auditory scene have been encoded in the auditory system. Using simple-feature stimulus deviations, regularity encoding and deviance detection have been reported in brain responses at multiple latencies of the human Auditory Evoked Potential (AEP), such as the Mismatch Negativity (MMN; peaking at 100-250ms from stimulus onset) and Middle-Latency Responses (MLR; peaking at 12-50ms)...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Brigitta Tóth, Zsuzsanna Kocsis, Gábor P Háden, Ágnes Szerafin, Barbara G Shinn-Cunningham, István Winkler
In everyday acoustic scenes, figure-ground segregation typically requires one to group together sound elements over both time and frequency. Electroencephalogram was recorded while listeners detected repeating tonal complexes composed of a random set of pure tones within stimuli consisting of randomly varying tonal elements. The repeating pattern was perceived as a figure over the randomly changing background. It was found that detection performance improved both as the number of pure tones making up each repeated complex (figure coherence) increased, and as the number of repeated complexes (duration) increased - i...
November 1, 2016: NeuroImage
Tobias Weller, Virginia Best, Jörg M Buchholz, Taegan Young
BACKGROUND: Deficits in spatial hearing can have a negative impact on listeners' ability to orient in their environment and follow conversations in noisy backgrounds and may exacerbate the experience of hearing loss as a handicap. However, there are no good tools available for reliably capturing the spatial hearing abilities of listeners in complex acoustic environments containing multiple sounds of interest. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore a new method to measure auditory spatial analysis in a reverberant multitalker scenario...
July 2016: Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
Vanessa C Irsik, Christina M Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Joel S Snyder
Attention and other processing constraints limit the perception of objects in complex scenes, which has been studied extensively in the visual sense. We used a change deafness paradigm to examine how attention to particular objects helps and hurts the ability to notice changes within complex auditory scenes. In a counterbalanced design, we examined how cueing attention to particular objects affected performance in an auditory change-detection task through the use of valid or invalid cues and trials without cues (Experiment 1)...
July 11, 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance
Tara Vongpaisal, Daniela Caruso, Zhicheng Yuan
Music perception of cochlear implants (CI) users is constrained by the absence of salient musical pitch cues crucial for melody identification, but is made possible by timing cues that are largely preserved by current devices. While musical timing cues, including beats and rhythms, are a potential route to music learning, it is not known what extent they are perceptible to CI users in complex sound scenes, especially when pitch and timbral features can co-occur and obscure these musical features. The task at hand, then, becomes one of optimizing the available timing cues for young CI users by exploring ways that they might be perceived and encoded simultaneously across multiple modalities...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Hanna Renvall, Noël Staeren, Claudia S Barz, Anke Ley, Elia Formisano
This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Shimpei Yamagishi, Sho Otsuka, Shigeto Furukawa, Makio Kashino
To make sense of complex auditory scenes, the auditory system sequentially organizes auditory components into perceptual objects or streams. In the conventional view of this process, the cortex plays a major role in perceptual organization, and subcortical mechanisms merely provide the cortex with acoustical features. Here, we show that the neural activities of the brainstem are linked to perceptual organization, which alternates spontaneously for human listeners without any stimulus change. The stimulus used in the experiment was an unchanging sequence of repeated triplet tones, which can be interpreted as either one or two streams...
September 2016: Hearing Research
Natsumi Y Homma, Victoria M Bajo, Max F K Happel, Fernando R Nodal, Andrew J King
The harmonic structure of sounds is an important grouping cue in auditory scene analysis. The ability of ferrets to detect mistuned harmonics was measured using a go/no-go task paradigm. Psychometric functions plotting sensitivity as a function of degree of mistuning were used to evaluate behavioral performance using signal detection theory. The mean (± standard error of the mean) threshold for mistuning detection was 0.8 ± 0.1 Hz, with sensitivity indices and reaction times depending on the degree of mistuning...
June 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Brent Edwards
Hearing loss and cognitive function interact in both a bottom-up and top-down relationship. Listening effort is tied to these interactions, and models have been developed to explain their relationship. The Ease of Language Understanding model in particular has gained considerable attention in its explanation of the effect of signal distortion on speech understanding. Signal distortion can also affect auditory scene analysis ability, however, resulting in a distorted auditory scene that can affect cognitive function, listening effort, and the allocation of cognitive resources...
July 2016: Ear and Hearing
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