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Re: Innate responses to sound

Hi all,
Thanks for the responses, the best I have come across so far is John
Neuhoff's paper 'An Adaptive Bias in the Perception of Looming
Auditory Motion"  (thanks Camille for forwarding my question to John).
It outlines experiments in which listeners overestimated the loudness
of approaching sounds and underestimated the distance  but not for
receding sounds (decrease in volume or increase in distance). He
argues that this is an adapted bias toward approaching sounds
providing an early warning to potential threats.
I wonder if this overestimation of loudness would be more likely in
sounds approaching listeners from behind (where response time may be
more urgent due).
A few replies have hinted on enquiring along these lines.
Bruno Giordano noted that later development in the visual system leads
to a wider focus of all available sensory information the result being
that (at least in vision) a miss is worse than a false alarm. John
Neuhoff's paper suggests that there is some overshooting of auditory
perception of loudness but its unclear if this changes during a
person's development.
David Mountain suggested looking into rhythm, although I was referring
to timbre in my question, it had never dawned on me that rhythm must
also play an important role in identifying approaching sounds. Its
much like how I can tell which of my family members are walking up the
stairs based on their characteristic rhythm. I will look into this.

Thanks again for all your help.