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up and down-ness
OK, I can't resist. The up or down-ness of various frequencies (I did not
say pitch) or spectral balance points, or whatever, is a pure example of
what I have termed a "response proclivity" (RP) one of the major criteriaa
for which is our inability to determine, a priori, what the correct
response is. As distinguished from "sensory capabilities" (SC's) in the
defining tasks for which we, the experimenters, think we know the correct
RP's are sometimes obviously learned, but sometimes are so universal that
we have to suspect that they are associations that evolved as a
consequence of some pressure or other. (For example, positive Doppler
might make you cringe...or if not you, some critter with the appropriate
size and range of frequency sensitivity.) Anyway, it seems convenient to
me to divide the world of sense-based behavior into SC's and RP's...with
appropriate, BUT DIFFERENT methods of studying each. This, of course, is
not narrowly relevant to the discussion but I hate to miss a chance to
On Thu, 27 Aug 1998 HARTMANN@PA.MSU.EDU wrote:
> Dear List,
> Here is a technical note on the description of pitch.
> The discussion to date has not distinguished between prothetic and
> metathetic quantities. Prothetic is associated with amount; metathetic
> is a point on a scale. Loudness is prothetic, we say, "More loudness."
> Pitch is metathetic, we say, "Higher pitch." We don't say, "More pitch."
> Therefore, it is not appropriate to compare pitch (metathetic) with the
> mass of animals (prothetic).
> For more about this there is the book by Larry Marks called the New
> Psychophysics, or the book by me called Signals, Sound, and Sensation
> (Chapter 4).
> Bill Hartmann
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