Psychoacoustics and Auditory Perception
Psychoacoustics and auditory perception are the study of the relationship between perception and the acoustic signal. The current methods and theories of psychoacoustics and auditory perception are probably derived from the early work of Fechner. The history of these studies can perhaps be divided into several major time periods: The Dominance of Helmholtz (late 19th century into early 20th century), The Bell Lab Years (late 1920s to the late 1940s), The Influence of the Theory of Signal Detection (1950s through the 1970s), Appreciation of Complex Sounds (1970s to late 1980s), and Auditory Scene Analysis (1990s to the present time). This chapter suggests that the next topic that will characterize the study of psychoacoustics and auditory perception will be the “Auditory Brain.” The chapter argues that understanding the Auditory Brain will depend on better understanding psychoacoustics and auditory perception, just as much as it will on understanding the biology of the brain. Two examples—sound source localization and complex pitch perception—indicate problems of auditory perception that remain to be solved. The chapter suggests that a better understanding of these areas will likely depend on additional work both in auditory psychoacoustics/perception and in auditory neuroscience.
KeywordsSound Source Interaural Time Difference Auditory Perception Interaural Level Difference Complex Sound
Work on this chapter was supported by a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).
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