Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 39–48 | Cite as

The effects of auditory streaming on duplex perception

  • Valter Ciocca
  • Albert S. Bregman


When a formant transition and the remainder of a syllable are presented to subjects’ opposite ears, most subjects perceive two simultaneous sounds: a syllable and a nonspeech chirp. It has been demonstrated that, when the remainder of the syllable (base) is kept unchanged, the identity of the perceived syllable will depend on the kind of transition presented at the opposite ear. This phenomenon, called duplex perception, has been interpreted as the result of theindependent operation of two perceptual systems or modes, the phonetic and the auditory mode. In the present experiments, listeners were required to identify and discriminate such duplex syllables. In some conditions, the isolated transition was embedded in a temporal sequence of capturing transitions sent to the same ear. This streaming procedure significantly weakened the contribution of the transition to the perceived phonetic identity of the syllable. It is likely that the sequential integration of the isolated transition into a sequence of capturing transitions affected its fusion with the contralateral base. This finding contrasts with the idea that the auditory and phonetic processes are operating independently of each other. The capturing effect seems to be more consistent with the hypothesis that duplex perception occurs in the presence of conflicting cues for the segregation and the integration of the isolated transition with the base.


Rating Score Comparison Stimulus Isolation Condition Syllable Type Base Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valter Ciocca
    • 1
  • Albert S. Bregman
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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