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non-speech audio and perceived duration of silence

Sorry, I realize this question is a bit on the "applied"
side, but I can't think of a more likely place to find
someone who can give me good feedback or a pointer to
pertinent work...

Is there any work that suggests a type of non-speech
audio that can cause a reduction in the perceived
duration of a subsequent silence (of ~4-12 seconds)?
If so, could you please direct me to it?

Because this is, at its heart, motivated by an application,
I'll say a bit more about the application below.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Rory Stuart
NYNEX Science & Technology, Inc.

---------more context re: the above question-----------
The situation: In a proposed service, the user issues a
spoken request; the system can give an "acknowledgement";
then, the user must wait for a response from the system
(in which response the system fills the user's request).

The problem: The duration of this wait is variable
(perhaps 4-12 seconds) and unpredictable; the system can
give no visual feedback (e.g. think of an eyes-busy
application or a phone-based interface), nor can it
give any audio feedback during the wait.  The people
proposing the service are (rightly, I think) concerned
that its users will be unhappy with what may be perceived
as a long wait (in silence).

It is possible to present any type of audio they choose
(including non-speech audio) in the time described as the
"acknowledgement" (although it isn't possible to say anything
about how long the sunsequent wait will be, since that is not
known). Whether speech or non-speech, this "acknowledgement" period
should not be very long, since it does add to the total time
of the transaction.  But my question pertains to whether
there is any kind of non-speech audio (played briefly) that
could decrease the perceived duration of the subsequent silence.
Any ideas will be most appreciated!