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Re: CASA problems and solutions

Dear Jim and List,

Thanks for pointing out the important role of familiarity.

I omitted any mention of the listener's knowledge of the source
not because it isn't important, but because I have no idea how
the auditory system implements this knowledge, or what the
interesting scientific questions are.  We believe that familiar
sounds are able to be tracked more easily through mixtures, but
what is the next scientific question?  I suppose one such
question would be whether the recognition processes operate only
on already-segregated signals or whether the bottom-up and
top-down processes interact.  Research in speech perception
suggests the latter answer.

I don't believe there has been a lot of thinking about the laws
that might describe how top-down processes work in the
recognition of sounds in mixtures.  I would welcome any ideas
that might occur to anybody on the list.


Albert S. Bregman, Emeritus Professor
Psychology Dept., McGill University
1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue
Montreal, QC, CANADA  H3A 1B1

  Tel: +1 (514) 398-6103
  Fax:+1 (514) 398-4986

  Fax & phone: +1 (514) 484-2592

Lab web page:

----- Original Message -----
From: James W. Beauchamp <j-beauch@UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 12:34 PM
> What about knowledge of the source? For example, if I hear out
> oboe in an orchestra, doesn't it help that I know what an oboe
> sounds like? Isn't this a learned phenomenon?