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Proposed Research Topic: Probing Auditory Scene Analysis

Dear Colleagues,


Together with my co-hosts, we bring to your attention a special issue that will be handled through the Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience mechanism. Interested persons can check out the announcement on the Frontier’s website under the research topic “Probing Auditory Scene Analysis”. Below is a basic description.






Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience

Topic Title            Probing auditory scene analysis

Topic Editor (s)  Elyse Sussman, Susan Denham, Susann Deike

Suggested By     Susann Deike

Suggested On    25 Feb 2013

Topic Description            


In natural environments, the auditory system is typically confronted with a mixture of sounds originating from different sound sources. As sounds spread over time, the auditory system has to continuously decompose competing sounds into distinct meaningful auditory objects or “auditory streams” referring to certain sound sources. This decomposition work, which was termed by Albert Bregman as “Auditory scene analysis” (ASA), involves two kinds of grouping to be done. Grouping based on simultaneous cues, such as harmonicity and on sequential cues, such as similarity in acoustic features over time. Understanding how the brain solves these tasks is a fundamental challenge facing auditory scientist. In recent years, the topic of ASA was broadly investigated in different fields of auditory research, including a wide range of methods, studies in different species, and modeling. Despite the advance in understanding ASA, it still proves to be a major challenge for auditory research. This includes verifying whether experimental findings are transferable to more realistic auditory scenes.


A central approach in understanding ASA is the use of certain stimulus parameters that produce an ambiguous percept. The advantage of such an approach is that different perceptual organizations can be studied without varying physical stimulus parameters. Additionally, the perception of ambiguous stimuli can be volitionally controlled by intention or task. By using this one can mirror real hearing situations where listeners intent to identify and to localize auditory sources. Recently it was also found that in classical auditory streaming sequences perceptual ambiguity was not restricted to but was observed over a broad range of stimulus parameters.


The proposed Research Topic pursues to bring together scientist in the different fields of auditory research whose work addresses the issue of perceptual ambiguity. Researchers are welcome to contribute experimental reports, computational modeling, and reviews that consider auditory ambiguity in its modality specific characteristics as well as in comparison to visual ambiguous figures. The overall goal of contributions should be to consider the experimental findings from the perspective of real auditory scenes. In a broader sense, the Research Topic is open for contributions which are related to the issue of active listening in complex scenes.


In preparation since        01 Mar 2013

Online since       05 Mar 2013

Submission Deadline      01 Dec 2013




Elyse S. Sussman, Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience and Otorhinolaryngology-HNS

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

1300 Morris Park Avenue

Bronx, NY  10461  USA


Ph: 1-718-430-3313                   

EMAIL: elyse.sussman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx