non-speech audio and perceived duration of silence (Rory Stuart )

Subject: non-speech audio and perceived duration of silence
From:    Rory Stuart  <stuart(at)NYNEXST.COM>
Date:    Thu, 15 Sep 1994 20:00:05 +0500

Sorry, I realize this question is a bit on the "applied" side, but I can't think of a more likely place to find someone who can give me good feedback or a pointer to pertinent work... Is there any work that suggests a type of non-speech audio that can cause a reduction in the perceived duration of a subsequent silence (of ~4-12 seconds)? If so, could you please direct me to it? Because this is, at its heart, motivated by an application, I'll say a bit more about the application below. Thanks in advance for your help! -Rory Stuart NYNEX Science & Technology, Inc. ---------more context re: the above question----------- The situation: In a proposed service, the user issues a spoken request; the system can give an "acknowledgement"; then, the user must wait for a response from the system (in which response the system fills the user's request). The problem: The duration of this wait is variable (perhaps 4-12 seconds) and unpredictable; the system can give no visual feedback (e.g. think of an eyes-busy application or a phone-based interface), nor can it give any audio feedback during the wait. The people proposing the service are (rightly, I think) concerned that its users will be unhappy with what may be perceived as a long wait (in silence). It is possible to present any type of audio they choose (including non-speech audio) in the time described as the "acknowledgement" (although it isn't possible to say anything about how long the sunsequent wait will be, since that is not known). Whether speech or non-speech, this "acknowledgement" period should not be very long, since it does add to the total time of the transaction. But my question pertains to whether there is any kind of non-speech audio (played briefly) that could decrease the perceived duration of the subsequent silence. Any ideas will be most appreciated! -------------------------------------------------------------

This message came from the mail archive
maintained by:
DAn Ellis <>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University