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Re: Wake-up levels for auditory warning?

I would add to Steve McAdams' cogent remark that it does not just depend on
individual differences between people, but that there are powerful
contextual factors within a person influencing what kind of noise will wake
them up. It wouldn't surprise me, for example, if Steve wakes up to his
daughter's cough one floor below (maybe <20 dB at his ears?) but can easily
sleep through the garbage collection truck (maybe ~40 dB at his ears).
Broadbent's "pre-attentive" selectional filter is pretty good at giving us
what is essentially a roving threshold in the intensity domain depending on
the importance of the stimulus.

Daniel J. Levitin, M.S., Ph.D.                           Phone: 650/842-6236
Interval Research Corp.                                levitin@interval.com
1801-C Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA  94304

Lecturer, Department of Music
Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Lecturer, Department of Computer Science
Visiting Scholar, Center for Computer Research in Music & Acoustics
Stanford University