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Re: Silence

Dear List,

Various data about speech perception show that whether silence or
continuous sound are perceived depends upon the context: In one
context, a fixed silent interval may be perceived as silence, but the
same silent duration may be perceived as filled with sound in a
different context.

Some articles that summarize these data and attempt to explain how
silence may be contextually perceived can be downloaded from
http://www.cns.bu.edu/Profiles/Grossberg. These are the articles:

Grossberg, S. and Myers, C.W. (2000). The resonant dynamics of speech
perception: Interword integration and duration-dependent backward
effects. Psychological Review, 107, 735-767.

Grossberg, S., Boardman, I., and Cohen, C. (1997). Neural dynamics of
variable-rate speech categorization. Journal of Experimental
Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 23, 418--503.

Steve Grossberg

Dear List,
I received an inquiry from someone asking about the perception of

 "How is silence perceived in a musical context? Is
 the listener's 'attitude' changed when a rest unfolds in
 music? or, are sounds and silences so linked in music to
 enable us to distinguish the two?"

I am not able to further clarify her questions, so I offer them as
received. Any thoughts?

Harold Fiske, PhD
Faculty of Music
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario CANADA