timbre normalization by pitch ("Gregory J. Sandell" )

Subject: timbre normalization by pitch
From:    "Gregory J. Sandell"  <sandell(at)SPARKY.LS.LUC.EDU>
Date:    Mon, 24 Feb 1997 13:01:59 -0600

Here's my question: can anyone direct me to experimental work showing that sound source identification improves as listeners are exposed to increasing numbers of different fundmental frequencies from that source? Some theoretical motivation: Normalization is a term that has been used (see Pisoni, 1997) to describe how listeners learn to associate a timbrally-variant sound source with a single label (e.g. what we think of as "the timbre of the violin" encompasses the wide variety of acoustic signals occurring with variations in pitch, loudness, expressive inflection, and so on). The normalization hypothesis is that sound-source learning occurs by the listener searching for invariants across the source's range of sounds and adjusting for differences between them to form an abstract and stable representation of the sound source. This conversion is assumed to consist of selectively filtering out certain features of sounds as irrelevant or idiosyncratic so that widely varying acoustic signals can be regarded as equivalent. Conceivably one could normalize a source by treating pitch as the "irrelevant" detail, listen to several different pitches of the source, and abstracting a representation of the source by what is common among them. I haven't seen any experimental work on this question. However, there are interesting papers on aspects of normalization not involving multiple pitches (Cho et al, 1993a, b; Mullennix et al, 1989; and Pitt, 1997). Thanks in advance, Greg Sandell (References:) Cho, J.L., Hall, M.D. and Pastore, R.E. (1993a). Stimulus properties critical to normalization of instrument timbre. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 93, 2402 (abstract). Cho, J.L., Hall, M.D. and Pastore, R.E. (1993b). Normalization of musical instrument timbre. Unpublished manuscript. Mullennix, J.W., Pisoni, D.B. and Martin, C.S. (1989). Some effects of talker variability on spoken word recognition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 85, 365-378. Pisoni, D.B. (1997). Some thoughts on 'Normalization' in speech perception. In Johnson, K.A., and Mullennix, J.W. (Eds.), Talker Variability in Speech Processing, 9-32. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Pitt, M. (1995). Evidence for a central representation of instrument timbre. Perception and Psychophysics 57, 43-55. -- Gregory J. Sandell, Research Associate, sandell(at)sparky.parmly.luc.edu Parmly Hearing Institute, Loyola University Chicago 6525 N. Sheridan Chicago IL 60626 USA voice:773-508-3976 FAX:773-508-2719 WWW: http://www.parmly.luc.edu/sandell/

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