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Re: streams and groups
I apologize for replying to John Bates before Al Bregman does;
undoubtedly, his reply will be more cogent than mine. But here is my
answer to John's questions:
As I understand the discussion here, each clap in a clapper's stream of
claps could be considered to be a group.
In Al's terminology, each clap is a unit. I would call it an event.
It is a group only in the trivial sense that units and events are
groups consisting of a single element.
Or is it that each clapper's
stream of claps is a group?
Yes, a stream can be considered a group of a special kind--one that
is temporally interleaved with other groups and consists of a
substantial number of similar units.
In any case, further parsing of my applause
would reveal that every individual clap is itself composed of streams
and/or groups of smaller identifiable transient events.
That seems unlikely to me: Each clap is just a single transient.
However, there are more complex auditory events that can indeed be
decomposed into smaller elements that are perceptually grouped
But when you, Al, finish a presentation, the audience explodes with an
ovation that is a flow of hundreds of homogenized hand-clap sources. You
can no longer pick out the streams and groups. The applause you get is a
single amorphous spatially distributed stream of noise. What happened to
the groups? And is it important to know this?
I have never been in this situation (there is usually total silence
after I finish a talk), but I would say the mixture of sources
contains a large number of potential streams that the listener's
perceptual system is unable to segregate. The sources and streams are
physically there but difficult to detect. By placing a microphone a
few inches from the hands of any individual clapper, the stream of
his/her claps can be isolated and made perceptible.
Bruno H. Repp
270 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06511-6695
Tel. (203) 865-6163, ext. 236
FAX (203) 865-8963