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Re: Soft/loud grouping patterns

Dear Kevin and List,

> >>According to Handel, Fraisse explained this in his 1956 book as an
> >>effect of grouping:
> >>1. the louder events group with following quieter events .... [big snip]
> >>Is there a general underlying principle operating here? Why would
> >>louder events group with following quieter events rather than preceding
> >>quieter events?

Perhaps a bias in favor of grouping sounds in the order "strong-weak"
might be useful in everyday auditory perception.  First it is worth noting
that the onset of a sound is usually its most intense part (especially in
the case of impacts, plucked strings, and released-stop syllables such as
/da/ in speech) with weaker continuing vibrations and echoes following. A
bias towards grouping in the order "strong-weak" would tend to ensure that
the onset of a sound (which may be somewhat different from the rest of the
sound because of onset transients and spectral spread) would group with
the remaining parts (including echoes) of the SAME sound rather than with
the tail end of the previous sound.

- Al

Albert S. Bregman,  Professor Emeritus,  Psychology Dept, McGill Univ.
1205  Docteur Penfield Avenue,   Montreal,  Quebec,  Canada   H3A 1B1.
Phone: +1 514-398-6103 Fax: -4896  Email: bregman@hebb.psych.mcgill.ca
Lab Web Page: http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/labs/auditory/laboratory.html