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Re: Does anybody know a similar study?

Hello Massimo:

I think some work under the topic of "auditory priming" may be relevant.  A
starting point may be:

Freyman, R.L., Balakrishan, U., and Helfer, K., (2004). "Effect of number of
masking talkers and auditory priming on informational masking in speech
recognition," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 115, 2246-2256.

Christine Rankovic

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Massimo Grassi
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:47 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Does anybody know a similar study?

Dear list members,

yesterday I colleague played me a sample (a sentence) of highly degraded
speech. It was a recording made in a highly noisy environment. It included
speech (a conversation) that was hardly intelligible except for a few
occasional words.

The colleague asked me to listen to the sample and pay attention whether I
was able to spot a few target words. These words were not intelligible to

The colleague then selected a portion of the recording and played it in
loop. That portion included (according to him) one target word. After a few
loops I was able to "perceive" the word.

This is exactly the problem. I'm wandering whether it was just a suggestion
due to the repeated listening of an ambiguous auditory signal. A kid of
auditory Rorschach test: there seem to be nothing at the beginning but if
you keep listening you can hear whatever you like.

Is there anybody out there that is aware of studies that investigated
whether listening in loop to an ambiguous signal can lead to hear things
that are not in the signal?

I didn't find anything yet.

Thank you all in advance,