Structural Components in the Perception of Sixteen Complex Sounds.
CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA WASHINGTON D C HUMAN PERFORMANCE LAB
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The INDSCAL multidimensional scaling model was used to investigate the distinctive features involved in the perception of sixteen complex non-speech sounds. The signals differed along four physical dimensions fundamental frequency, waveform, formant frequency and number of formants. Scaling results indicated that subjects similarity ratings could be accounted for by three psychological or perceptual dimensions. A statistically reliable correspondence was observed between these perceptual dimensions and the physical characteristics fundamental frequency, waveform, and a combination of the two formant parameters. These results were further explored with Johnsons 1967 hierarchical clustering analysis. Large differences in featural saliency occurred in the group data with fundamental accounting for more variability than the remaining dimensions. Further analysis of individual subject data revealed large individual differences in featural saliency. These differences were related to past musical experience of the subject and to earlier findings using similar signals. It was concluded that 1 the INDSCAL model provides a useful model for the analysis of auditory perception in the non-speech mode, 2 featural saliency in such sounds is likely to be determined by an unspecified attentional mechanism. The implications of these findings for tactical sonar operations was discussed. Author