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ERIC Number: EJ933760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
The Incongruency Advantage for Environmental Sounds Presented in Natural Auditory Scenes
Gygi, Brian; Shafiro, Valeriy
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n2 p551-565 Apr 2011
The effect of context on the identification of common environmental sounds (e.g., dogs barking or cars honking) was tested by embedding them in familiar auditory background scenes (street ambience, restaurants). Initial results with subjects trained on both the scenes and the sounds to be identified showed a significant advantage of about five percentage points better accuracy for sounds that were contextually incongruous with the background scene (e.g., a rooster crowing in a hospital). Further studies with naive (untrained) listeners showed that this incongruency advantage (IA) is level-dependent: there is no advantage for incongruent sounds lower than a Sound/Scene ratio (So/Sc) of −7.5 dB, but there is about five percentage points better accuracy for sounds with greater So/Sc. Testing a new group of trained listeners on a larger corpus of sounds and scenes showed that the effect is robust and not confined to a specific stimulus set. Modeling using spectral-temporal measures showed that neither analyses based on acoustic features, nor semantic assessments of sound-scene congruency can account for this difference, indicating the IA is a complex effect, possibly arising from the sensitivity of the auditory system to new and unexpected events, under particular listening conditions. (Contains 1 footnote, 6 tables, and 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois