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Re: effect of loudness on perceived duration

In reply to Amandine Penel:

>Does anyone know any research showing that (or/and explaining why)>an
inter-onset interval between a soft event and a loud one (IOIa)
>is perceived as being longer than:
>1. an inter-onset interval of the same physical duration between
>a loud event and a soft one (IOIb)

I guess this is related to the observation that an isochronous sequence
of identical events sounds asynchronous when every second event is
louder. Specifically, the IOI following a louder event sounds shorter
than the IOI preceding a louder event (or so I read in Handel's 1989
book on p. 387). ((But is this really true/robust e.g. over a reasonable
range of tempi?))

According to Handel, Fraisse explained this in his 1956 book as an
effect of grouping:
1. the louder events group with following quieter events, and
2. the time intervals between groups sound longer than within groups.

Both parts of this explanation invite critical examination.
1. Is there a general underlying principle operating here? Why would
louder events group with following quieter events rather than preceding
quieter events? Is it because the sound of a louder event continues
longer after the event due to physical echoes, or due some kind of
neural resonance? Or has it to do with the asymmetry between forward and
backward masking? How could one distinguish systematically between such
(alternative, intuitive) explanations?
2. Is this simply because listeners are used to hearing longer events
between groups than within groups? Or is that a circular argument?

Richard Parncutt

Dept. of Musicology, Univ. of Graz, Mozartgasse 3, 8010 Graz, Austria
Tel+43-316 380-2409 or-2405; Fax-9755; Email parncutt@kfunigraz.ac.at