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Re: Computational ASA -- how many sources can humans perceive?

At 05:23 PM 4/30/2004 -0500, Valeriy Shafiro wrote:
It makes sense that being able to listen to a recording of a real-world
sound mixture or an orchestra more than once can help to identify
individual sound sources.  However, when listening in real time how many
sound sources or instruments can we keep in the "foreground" of our
attention?  I have not yet read the details of Huron's method, but his data
are based on testing 5 musicians (although I am not sure how that was
defined).  Possibly some people are just so much better at it than others,
whether by nature or nurture.
Supposedly one of the aspects of Glenn Gould's genius was that he could
attend to four streams of conversation at once, and there is a neat scene
in the film "32 Short Films about Glenn Gould" in which he is in a diner
listening to several different conversations.  The different streams are so
skillfully edited that it really gave the feeling (for me, at least) of
hearing them all simultaneously.  What connection this has to his piano
playing is not clear.

One of the common reports of schizophrenics is that they hear several
things going on at once and are unable to shut any of them out.  There was
a web site which tried to replicate this auditory experience for
non-schizophrenics.  It was quite disturbing.  Sadly, I can't seem to
locate that site anymore.