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Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds

Dear All, 

This a very useful discussion (under a misleading flag however)

I have no problem with Brian's definition as such, but I see a practical problem. When we talk about auditory scene analysis (ASA) we typically refer to Al Bregman's work that involved studying streaming and segregation of meaningless tones, pulses, and noises. The field rarely refers to how we process some arbitrarily selected part of the real world (whether or not via a recording) and mentally construct (or analyze) a real-world auditory scene. However this is what we do most of the time (i.e., whenever we are not subject to some sort of auditory experiment). 

Now Brian's, very reasonable, definition runs the same risk, because it does not refer to uncontrolled sounds in some environment, but to the sound of familiar physical sources that might naturally occur in the environment. Typically this will involve a lot of control over the recording environment. For example because the experimenter selects sounds that fit fully in the file, or tweaks and optimizes the recording set-up for optimal target to background ratio, or excludes speech, footsteps, or music, or prefers sounds that are prototypical of a source. The sounds might even never have occurred in an existing environment. Therefore in this definition "environmental sound" is not yet fully representative of what we hear and listen to in normal life. While it, like ASA, suggest it should. 

Now my question is how to we call sounds present (or recorded) in an arbitrary environment (like the one you are in in 178 hours from now) that are representative of the sounds that we deal with in real life? 
Real-world sound, arbitrary real-world sounds, normal sounds, natural sounds, environmental sounds, ... ?

Tjeerd Andringa

On 19 mei 2010, at 09:14, Joanna Kantor-Martynuska wrote:

> Yes, that’s what I meant. Brian, thank you for the definition
> Joanna  
> On 5/18/10 8:11 AM, "Brian Gygi" <bgygi@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> David,
>> Although no formal body has ruled on the topic, in the past several years the term "environmental sounds" has acquired a relatively stable definition - namely familiar, naturally occurring sounds that refer to  physical sources in the environment.  There is of course some ambiguity regarding precisely what fits into this category, i.e., do musical instruments count, whose primary function is acoustic conveyance of aesthetic attributes rather than sound source specification?  In any case,tThis is the definition I and others have taken in our work and what I assume Joanna meant.  If not I hope she will let us know.
>> 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: David Mountain [mailto:dcm@xxxxxx]
>>> Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 08:06 PM
>>> To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> Subject: Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds
>>> I think that before we can address this question, we need to define what we mean by "environmental sounds."
>>> On Mon, May 17, 2010 at 10:47 AM, valeriy shafiro <firosha@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> Dear Joanna,
>>>> As far as I know across the studies of environmental sound perception
>>>> in the last 20-30 years none was designed specifically to examine
>>>> male/female differences.  Results from studies that looked at
>>>> identification of large collections of different types of
>>>> environmental sounds also did not find any differences, although in a
>>>> recent study on environmental sound identification within contextually
>>>> congruent and incongruent auditory scenes, Brian Gygi and I, saw an
>>>> overall identification difference between males and females, but it
>>>> was small (3-4 points) and non significant.  It is conceivable that
>>>> given a large variety of familiar environmental sounds tested in these
>>>> studies, whatever differences there may be between males and females
>>>> are obscured, and that for a set of specific sounds there are may be
>>>> sex differeces in behavioral of physiologic measures (e.g. baby
>>>> crying).  While not specifically targeting environmental sounds, John
>>>> Neuhoff did find some interesting sex differences in the perception of
>>>> looming motion, which might relevant to your question.
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> Valeriy
>>>> On Mon, May 17, 2010 at 7:40 AM, Joanna Kantor-Martynuska
>>>> <joanna.kantor@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> > Dear Auditory List,
>>>> >
>>>> > I would very much appreciate your suggestions about the literature regarding
>>>> > sex differences in perception of environmental sounds. I’m intrested in
>>>> > physiological indices of auditory predispositions for perception of
>>>> > different sounds we encounter in our natural environment.
>>>> >
>>>> > Looking forward to any interesting suggestions or links.
>>>> >
>>>> > Best,
>>>> > Joanna Kantor