ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

2pMU3. Implicit assumptions in modeling higher level auditory processes.

Richard E. Pastore

Ctr. for Cognitive and Psycholinguistic Sci., SUNY, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

There has been growing interest in the investigation of auditory stimulus processing at levels considered to be clearly beyond or above the limits imposed by the peripheral auditory system. Efforts to investigate such higher levels of processing of complex stimuli are nearly always based upon assumptions about perceptual and decision processes that limit the range of reasonably valid conclusions. Such assumptions are usually implicit and often not immediately recognized. To illustrate the critical role played by such implicit underlying assumptions, existing and new research on the perception of formant transitions in speech will be examined in terms of basic assumptions whose recognition can modify (and sometimes strengthen) conclusions about higher levels of perceptual processing. Discussion will focus on the implications of fundamental assumptions for the identification and demonstration of important principles of perceptual organizing (e.g., Gestalt, feature integration) and for testing hypotheses about alternative perceptual models, modes, or modules. [Research supported in part by NSF and AFOSR.]