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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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