[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Subcategorizing environmental sounds

I like to think of the goal of the auditory system as enabling an appropriate response to objects in the environment, so certainly imputation of casuality is one way to do that.  But I think that is a subgoal in terms of producing a reaction.  For example, most harmonic sounds in everyday life are produced by biological sources (vocalizations) or are produced by communicative devices of some sort (sirens, buzzers, musical instruments) which have some biological source controlling them.  The way one would respond to these (fight,flight, feed, fancy) is quite different than the way one would respond to impact sounds (a car crash), bouncing sounds, liquid sounds (water flowing), rolling sounds, scrapings sounds, etc.  I did a study on similarity ratings and free categorizations of environmental sounds (Gygi, et al. 2007) in which the dimensions of both similarity and categorization corresponded to acoustic attributes of the sounds, which covaried with the semantic attributes.  The major clusters seemed to reflect vocalizations, impact sounds and continuous sounds.  

Gygi, B., Kidd, G. R., & Watson, C. S. (2007). Similarity and categorization of environmental sounds. Perception and Psychophysics, 69(6), 839-855.

Bruno Giordano has done some work which yields a slightly different structuring, but in that case as well the acoustics and semantics are bound together, they are not independent.

I think this partially answers Milena's question about 'difference being made in the definition of environmental sounds between human, mechanical, electronic, electroacoustic and digital sound?"

However, electroacoustic and digital sounds do present a bit of a challenge since sounds can be synthesized which have no real-world referents.  Some work has been done with those, see the upcoming
EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing (disclosure: Valeriy and I have a piece in that as well, so you all should definitely get it).

Roma, G., Janer, J., Kersten, S., & Schirosa, M. (2010). Ecological acoustics perspective for content-based retrieval of environmental sounds. In H. Thornburg, S. Serafin & A. Valle (Eds.), EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing (submitted): Hindawi Publishing Corporation.

Brian Gygi, Ph.D.
Speech and Hearing Research
Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System
150 Muir Road
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 372-2000 x5653
-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Lennox [mailto:P.Lennox@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 08:48 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds

I agree with Bruno here; in either case (living or non-living environmental sounds), perception of causality is going on. In living sounds, that includes not only the structure of the sounding object, but the intentionality; the contents (semantic and prosodic)of vocalisations help in this, but let's face it, you can hear intentionality in movement of living things, even without any vocalisation (as in 'purposeful movement', so symbolic content can't be the only way we can access the content's of another's mind. So really, we are just arguing about how to sub-categorise 'environmental sounds' Regards ppl -----Original Message----- From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bruno L. Giordano Sent: 18 May 2010 16:00 To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds Hello Guillaume et al., > All our sounds were "sound of objects", so we had nothing like baby > crying. And, in my opinion, environmental sounds do not include human > vocalizations. Personally, I always use Vanderveer's definition [2]: > "... any possible audible acoustic event which is caused by motions in > the ordinary human environment. (...) Besides 1) having real events as > their sources (...) 2) [they] are usually more ``complex'' than > laboratory sinusoids, (...) 3) [they] are meaningful, in the sense that > they specify events in the environment. (...) 4) The sounds to be > considered are not part of a communication system, or communication > sounds, they are taken in their literal rather than signal or symbolic > interpretation." In my personal opinion we shouldn't use such a restrictive definition of environmental sounds. Your definition (and that of Vanderveer) corresponds approximately to the category of nonliving environmental sounds. Research on environmental sounds is a precious opportunity to finally direct the attention of the research community towards the complexity of the everyday acoustical environment. If we constraint the definition of environmental sounds we constrain the research field and miss this opportunity. For the comparative weight of symbolic and sensory(acoustical) information in the cognitive processing of different categories of environmental sounds see Giordano et al. (2010): with baby cries symbolic information seems to be more relevant than with "hammering nail" (surprise surprise). Again, in my opinion and I assume in that of several other researchers in this field, baby cries are nonetheless environmental sounds. Bruno @ARTICLE{giordano10BCG, author = {B. L. Giordano and J. McDonnell and S. McAdams}, title = {Hearing living symbols and nonliving icons: category-specificities in the cognitive processing of environmental sounds}, journal = {Brain \& Cognition}, year = {2010}, volume = {73}, pages = {7-19} } ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bruno L. Giordano, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow CIRMMT - Schulich School of Music 555 Sherbrooke Street West Montr�, QC H3A1E3 Canada +1 514 398 4535, Ext. 00900 (office) +1 514 398 2962 (fax) http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~bruno/ The University of Derby has a published policy regarding email and reserves the right to monitor email traffic. If you believe this email was sent to you in error, please notify the sender and delete this email. Please direct any concerns to Infosec@xxxxxxxxxxx The policy is available here: http://www.derby.ac.uk/LIS/Email-Policy