Discrimination and labeling of noise-buzz sequences with varying noise-lead times: An example of categorical perception

James D. Miller, Craig C. Wier, Richard E. Pastore, William J. Kelly, Robert J. Dooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

The onset of a noise [0.9-2.1 kHz, 55 dB SPL (A weighted)] preceded that of a buzz [100 Hz, 0.5-3.0 kHz, 70 db SPL (A weighted), 500 msec] by —10 to + 80 msec and both terminated simultaneously. Eight adults discriminated among noise-lead times in an oddity task. in separate sessions, they labeled singly presented stimuli with either of the two responses: “no noise” or “noise.” The results are highly similar to those reported for the categorical perception of synthetic plosive consonants differing in voice-onset time. On the average, discrimination was best across a noise-lead-time boundary of about 16 msec, where labeling also shifted abruptly. These results and those of categorical perception, generally, are interpreted in terms of Weber's law as applied to a single component within a stimulus complex. It is concluded that categorical perception of sounds is not unique to speech and suggested that it may be a general property of sensory behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1976

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