A. Paige Wuestefeld
Lawrence D. Rosenblum
Helena M. Saldana
Dept. of Psychol., Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521
Research in visual perception suggests that observers can judge the time of arrival of a looming object based on earlier portions of the visible trajectory. A few studies in the auditory perception literature hint that listeners might also be able to anticipate the time of arrival of an approaching sound source [e.g., L. D. Rosenblum, C. Carello, and R. E. Pastore, Perception 16, 175--186 (1987)]. In a series of experiments, listeners judged the time of arrival of a looming car based on various portions of its acoustic signal. Subjects were asked to press a computer key when they felt the car would just pass them assuming a constant approach velocity. A number of variables were tested including (a) the time between the offset of the signal and the (virtual) time of passage, and (b) feedback concerning accuracy. Results suggest that increasing the time between signal offset and time of passage decreases judgment accuracy while providing subjects with feedback significantly improves performance. Preliminary analyses of the looming car signal were conducted to help determine the acoustic basis for anticipatory judgments.