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timbre normalization by pitch

Here's my question:  can anyone direct me to experimental work showing
that sound source identification improves as listeners are exposed to
increasing numbers of different fundmental frequencies from that source?

Some theoretical motivation:

Normalization is a term that has been used (see Pisoni, 1997) to
describe how listeners learn to associate a timbrally-variant sound source
with a single label (e.g. what we think of as "the timbre of the violin"
encompasses the wide variety of acoustic signals occurring with variations
in pitch, loudness, expressive inflection, and so on).  The
normalization hypothesis is that sound-source learning occurs by the
listener searching for invariants across the source's range of sounds and
adjusting for differences between them to form an abstract and stable
representation of the sound source.  This conversion is assumed to
consist of selectively filtering out certain features of sounds as
irrelevant or idiosyncratic so that widely varying acoustic signals can
be regarded as equivalent.

Conceivably one could normalize a source by treating pitch as the
"irrelevant" detail, listen to several different pitches of the source,
and abstracting a representation of the source by what is common among them.
I haven't seen any experimental work on this question.  However, there
are interesting papers on aspects of normalization not involving
multiple pitches (Cho et al, 1993a, b; Mullennix et al, 1989; and Pitt,

Thanks in advance,
Greg Sandell


Cho, J.L., Hall, M.D. and Pastore, R.E. (1993a).  Stimulus properties
critical to normalization of instrument timbre.  Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America 93, 2402 (abstract).

Cho, J.L., Hall, M.D. and Pastore, R.E. (1993b).  Normalization of
musical instrument timbre. Unpublished manuscript.

Mullennix, J.W., Pisoni, D.B. and Martin, C.S. (1989).  Some effects of
talker variability on spoken word recognition.  Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America  85, 365-378.

Pisoni, D.B. (1997).  Some thoughts on 'Normalization' in speech
perception.  In Johnson, K.A., and Mullennix, J.W. (Eds.), Talker
Variability in Speech Processing, 9-32.  San Diego, CA:  Academic

Pitt, M. (1995).  Evidence for a central representation of instrument
timbre.  Perception and Psychophysics 57, 43-55.
Gregory J. Sandell, Research Associate, sandell@sparky.parmly.luc.edu
Parmly Hearing Institute, Loyola University Chicago
6525 N. Sheridan Chicago IL 60626 USA voice:773-508-3976 FAX:773-508-2719
WWW: http://www.parmly.luc.edu/sandell/