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Re: unpleasant sounds
Dear Dr Kearnbach,
I still remember a demonstration of combination tones
by Prof Plomp in one of the famous conferences on Music
Perception in Ossiach in the 80ties. While the stimulus
was generated about 12 meters away from me I felt that
the combination tones were generated in my ear. It gave me
the reaction of goose pimples. Ever since then I have been
wondering whether these unpleasant sounds like scratching
nails on a blackboard may have to do with combination tones.
On the other hand the sound of scratching fingernails on
a blackboard may remember you of the unpleasant feeling
you get when you do it yourself on the blackboard.
Hope this gives you some leads.
Leon van Noorden
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception
> [mailto:AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA]namens Christian Kaernbach
> Verzonden: 31 mrt 03 11:02
> Aan: AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA
> Onderwerp: unpleasant sounds
> Dear List,
> I am interested in psychophysiological responses to unpleasant sounds.
> In 2001 we had a discussion on this list on finger nails scraping on a
> blackboard. (Were there other threads of relevance to "unpleasant
> My present question is: Have there ever been studied the
> psychophysiological effects of these sounds, be it peripheral (from hear
> beat rate to startle reflex) or central (fMRI or the like)?
> Would you guess that the effects elicited by such sounds are the same or
> different from other "emotion inducing techniques", such as the
> "International Affective Picture System"?
> From the previous thread I have compiled the following reference list:
> Vitz (1973).
> Preference for tones as a function
> of frequency and intensity.
> P&P, 11, 84-88
> Halpern, Blake & Hillenbrand (1986).
> Psychoacoustics of a chilling sound.
> P&P, 39, 77-80.
> Todd (2001).
> Evidence for a behavioral significance of
> saccular acoustic sensitivity in humans
> JASA 110(1), 380-390.
> I would be grateful for any hint, be it directly to the question of the
> psychophysiological effects of such sounds, or to more papers trying to
> get at the physical properties of unpleasant sounds.
> Best regards,
> PD Dr. Christian Kaernbach
> Institut fuer Allgemeine Psychologie
> Universitaet Leipzig