Re: Silence (Yoshitaka NAKAJIMA )

Subject: Re: Silence
From:    Yoshitaka NAKAJIMA  <nakajima(at)KYUSHU-ID.AC.JP>
Date:    Fri, 7 Mar 2003 14:09:31 +0900

Dear List, I am interested in the perception of very short silent periods. The title of my musical piece would be "433 ms." It seems vital to clarify the perceptual nature of silence in order to understand how we perceive auditory patterns in time. Even in a simplified situation as in basic auditory experiments, a certain type of context is required to cause the perception of silence. My hypothesis is that a subjectively silent period should be created by a preceding context like a very short sound or the termination (offset) of a continuous sound. Silence is something to be perceived after perceiving sound. When the termination of a sound and the onset of another sound are perceived in this order within a single auditory stream, a silence should be perceived in between in order to make the stream well-shaped. It is indeed possible in speech perception for a silent duration to be perceived as filled. In music, very short sounds of percussion followed by silent periods can represent long notes. An analytical listening attitude sometimes enables us to perceive silent periods in these cases. Probably, a synthetic attitude tends to inhibit the auditory system from interpreting silent periods as such. Yoshitaka Nakajima Kyushu Institute of Design (To be a part of Kyushu University in October) Nakajima, Y., Sasaki, T., Kanafuka, K., Miyamoto, A., Remijn, G., & ten Hoopen, G. (2000). Illusory recouplings of onsets and terminations of glide tone components. Perception & Psychophysics, 62, 1413-1425.

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