pitch and organization (PSYCHOACOUSTIQUE )

Subject: pitch and organization
Date:    Fri, 18 Dec 1992 20:57:09 GMT

In a recent message to the list, Bill Hartmann mentioned several results suggesting that pitch perception is sometimes inconsistent with the spectral components' organization. In a similar vein, Demany, Semal and Carlyon (JASA 1991, 90, 3019) suggest that, for dyads of completely resolved components, the detection of inharmonicity is not based on the same neural information as the detection of pitch changes. However, it seems to me that there is a logical problem in this debate about the status of pitch in auditory organization: Saying that pitch is a consequence of organization rather than a cause looks like a truism. The fact that a mistuned harmonic contributes to the virtual pitch of a complex indicates in itself that the harmonic is integrated into the complex. This integration may occur even though, at the same time, the harmonic pops out as a separate entity: Al Bregman showed that duplex perception is a quite general phenomenon. Laurent Demany

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DAn Ellis <dpwe@ee.columbia.edu>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University