ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

2pMU7. Computer simulation of auditory stream segregation in sequential-tone sequences.

Michael W. Beauvois

IRCAM, 31, rue St-Merri, F-75004 Paris, France

Ray Meddis

Univ. of Technol., Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK

A simple computer model is described that takes a novel approach to the problem of accounting for perceptual coherence among successive pure tones of changing frequency by using simple physiological principles that operate mainly at a peripheral, rather than a central level. Using a single set of parameter values, the model is able to reproduce a number of streaming phenomena found in the literature. These are: (1) the buildup of auditory streaming over time, (2) the temporal coherence and fission boundaries of human listeners, (3) the trill threshold, and (4) the stream-organization process exhibited by human listeners when presented with ABC tone sequences. Whereas streaming phenomena are generally accounted for in terms of an auditory scene-analysis process that works on the basis of Gestalt perceptual principles, the success of the model in reproducing experimental data obtained from humans justifies the potential value of a low-level analysis for explaining high-level psychological phenomena such as Gestalt auditory grouping, and suggests that some Gestalt auditory grouping may be the product of low-level auditory processing. [Work supported by SERC(UK) and CNRS(France).]