MICHAEL SCHUTZ, Assistant Professor, McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind, McMaster University
Title: Dynamic sounds and perceptual processes: The surprising role of amplitude envelope in auditory perception
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2015-2016
VIDEO RECORDING OF TALK
Abstract: We perceive movie stars voices' as originating on-screen, even though they actually project from off-screen speakers. Despite the conflicting spatial information, we experience unity as our perceptual system automatically binds related sights and sounds. My team researches the process by which information is integrated cross-modally, with a particular focus on the role of amplitude envelope - the "shape" of a sound over time. We have demonstrated that sounds with naturally decaying envelopes mimicking those produced by impact events integrate in ways at odds with previous findings and theories (Schutz, 2009). Despite the considerable body of research on audio-visual integration, this pattern went previously unnoticed as a great deal of auditory research focuses on sounds with amplitude invariant "flat" tones (Schutz & Vaisberg, 2014). These sounds have ambiguous sustain periods followed by rapid offsets. In contrast, sounds from natural events such as impacts exhibit offsets providing useful information about the event in question. In this talk I will review my lab's growing body of work on this property, demonstrating amplitude envelope's importance in audio-visual integration. Additionally, we will explore its role in making sound-object associations, as well as in shaping underlying strategies used to assess duration. Together, these findings clarify the degree to which theories and frameworks derived from experiments with flat sounds generalize to natural sounds with time-varying amplitude envelopes. For more information, please visit <http://maplelab.net/overview/amplitude-envelope/>http://maplelab.net/overview/amplitude-envelope/>.
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