2pMUb8. Directed attention and perception of frequency changes.

Session: Tuesday Afternoon, May 14

Time: 3:55

Author: Barbara E. Acker
Author: Richard E. Pastore
Location: Dept. of Psych., SUNY, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000


What role does attention play in the perception of components within a melody? A paradigm used by Palmer and Holleran [Percept. Psychophys. 56(3), 301--312] provides a basis for addressing this question. Their study investigated different influences on the perception of pitch alterations in three-voiced musical passages, where subjects first learned a four-measure standard, then completed a same/different task. ``Different'' passages were constructed by altering the original standard, with a harmonically related (HR) or unrelated (HU) frequency change made in the lowest, middle, or upper voices of the musical passage. Results indicated that HR changes were less detectable than HU changes and were the least detectable in the middle voice. The current study uses the same procedures and musical materials as the Palmer and Holleran work, but provides the subjects with cues indicating which frequency region might contain the alteration (low, medium, or high). Results will be discussed in terms of the role directed attention plays as a function of harmonic relationship and frequency region.

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996