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CHAPTER 10. Auditory Sensitivity. PSYCHOACOUSTICS. A branch of psychophysics The study of the relation between: the physical aspects of sound and the psychological experience of sound. Threshold or Limen. Absolute Threshold -- lowest value of stimulus which can be detected

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chapter 10

CHAPTER 10

Auditory Sensitivity

psychoacoustics
PSYCHOACOUSTICS
  • A branch of psychophysics

The study of the relation between:

  • the physical aspects of sound

and

  • the psychological experience of sound
threshold or limen
Threshold or Limen
  • Absolute Threshold -- lowest value of stimulus which can be detected
  • Difference Threshold -- smallest detectable change in a stimulus
  • These 2 Thresholds were the primary questions in CLASSICAL PSYCHOPHYSICS

Thresholds

minimum audibility curve
Minimum Audibility Curve--
  • Plot of threshold of detection (in dB SPL) as a function of frequency
  • Lowest thresholds in 1 to 4 kHz region

Thresholds

auditory response area
Auditory Response Area
  • Range of useable hearing-- from threshold of detection to threshold of feeling/pain
  • Also called the DYNAMIC RANGE OF HEARING

Thresholds

differential sensitivity
Differential Sensitivity
  • Detecting changes in a stimulus
  • (e.g., how small a change in frequency can you detect)
  • Measured as the jnd - just noticeable difference

Diff. Sensitivity//Weber’s Law

weber s law a theory of human differential sensitivity
Weber’s Law--A Theory of human differential sensitivity
  • Δ S/S = k
  • Size of jnd = constant fraction of the stimulus you start with
  • It’s easier to detect small changes in a stimulus if it had a small value to begin with.

Diff. Sensitivity//Weber’s Law

frequency resolution
Frequency Resolution
  • The Critical Band reflects “internal filtering”--the ability to attend to a narrow range of frequencies
  • Remember the tuning curves from Bekesy’s dead ear and the healthy cochlea?
  • You need the healthy cochlea to have good frequency resolving power
good frequency resolution allows you to
Good Frequency Resolution Allows you to:
  • Listen to harmonic structure of complex signals
  • Detect Shifts in Frequency (esp. formant transitions)
  • Hear and Understand signals in noise
temporal aspects temporal integration
Temporal Aspects: TEMPORAL INTEGRATION
  • A certain amount of energy must be present for detection of a brief signal.
  • The process of summing energy over time is called integration and it is completed by 300 ms.
  • If the signal is shorter than 300 ms, then power must be increased for the signal to be detected.

Temporal Integration

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