Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 1271–1279 | Cite as

Perceptual hysteresis in the judgment of auditory pitch shift

Article

Abstract

Perceptual hysteresis can be defined as the enduring influence of the recent past on current perception. Here, hysteresis was investigated in a basic auditory task: pitch comparisons between successive tones. On each trial, listeners were presented with pairs of tones and asked to report the direction of subjective pitch shift, as either “up” or “down.” All tones were complexes known as Shepard tones (Shepard, 1964), which comprise several frequency components at octave multiples of a base frequency. The results showed that perceptual judgments were determined both by stimulus-related factors (the interval ratio between the base frequencies within a pair) and by recent context (the intervals in the two previous trials). When tones were presented in ordered sequences, for which the frequency interval between tones was varied in a progressive manner, strong hysteresis was found. In particular, ambiguous stimuli that led to equal probabilities of “up” and “down” responses within a randomized context were almost fully determined within an ordered context. Moreover, hysteresis did not act on the direction of the reported pitch shift, but rather on the perceptual representation of each tone. Thus, hysteresis could be observed within sequences in which listeners varied between “up” and “down” responses, enabling us to largely rule out confounds related to response bias. The strength of the perceptual hysteresis observed suggests that the ongoing context may have a substantial influence on fundamental aspects of auditory perception, such as how we perceive the changes in pitch between successive sounds.

Keywords

Adaptation Aftereffects Hearing Psychoacoustics 

References

  1. Dawe, L., Platt, J. R., & Welsh, E. (1998). Spectral-motion aftereffects and the tritone paradox among Canadian subjects. Perception & Psychophysics, 60, 209–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Deutsch, D. (1987). The tritone paradox: Effects of spectral variables. Perception & Psychophysics, 41, 563–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Deutsch, D. (2013). The processing of pitch combinations. In D. Deutsch (Ed.), The psychology of music (3rd ed., pp. 349–411). San Diego: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  4. Deutsch, D., Moore, F. R., & Dolson, M. (1986). The perceived height of octave-related complexes. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 80, 1346–1353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dittrich, K., & Oberfeld, D. (2009). A comparison of the temporal weighting of annoyance and loudness. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126, 3168–3178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Giangrande, J., Tuller, B., & Kelso, J. (2003). Perceptual dynamics of circular pitch. Music Perception, 20, 241–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hock, H. S., Kelso, J. S., & Schöner, G. (1993). Bistability and hysteresis in the organization of apparent motion patterns. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 19, 63–80. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.19.1.63 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hollingworth, H. (1910). The central tendency of judgment. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Method, 7, 461–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Holt, L. L. (2005). Temporally nonadjacent nonlinguistic sounds affect speech categorization. Psychological Science, 16, 305–312.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Holt, L. L. (2006). The mean matters: Effects of statistically defined nonspeech spectral distributions on speech categorization. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120, 2801–2817.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huang, J., & Holt, L. L. (2012). Listening for the norm: Adaptive coding in speech categorization. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(10), 1–6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00010 Google Scholar
  12. Kanai, R., & Verstraten, F. (2005). Perceptual manifestations of fast neural plasticity: Motion priming, rapid motion aftereffect and perceptual sensitization. Vision Research, 45, 3109–3116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Laing, E. J. C., Liu, R., Lotto, A. J., & Holt, L. L. (2012). Tuned with a tune: Talker normalization via general auditory processes. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(203), 1–9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00203 Google Scholar
  14. Leopold, D., & Logothetis, N. (1999). Multistable phenomena: Changing views in perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3, 254–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leopold, D. A., Wilke, M., Maier, A., & Logothetis, N. K. (2002). Stable perception of visually ambiguous patterns. Nature Neuroscience, 5, 605–609.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maloney, L. T., Dal Martello, M. F., Sahm, C., & Spillmann, L. (2005). Past trials influence perception of ambiguous motion quartets through pattern completion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 3164–3169. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407157102 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Moore, B. C. J., & Gockel, H. E. (2012). Properties of auditory stream formation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367, 919–931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Noest, A. J., van Ee, R., Nijs, M. M., & van Wezel, R. J. (2007). Percept-choice sequences driven by interrupted ambiguous stimuli: A low-level neural model. Journal of Vision, 7(8), 1–14. doi:10.1167/7.8.10 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ragozzine, F., & Deutsch, D. (1994). A regional difference in perception of the tritone paradox within the United States. Music Perception, 12, 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Raviv, O., Ahissar, M., & Loewenstein, Y. (2012). How recent history affects perception: The normative approach and its heuristic approximation. PLoS Computational Biology, 8, e1002731. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002731 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Repp, B. H. (1997). Spectral envelope and context effects in the tritone paradox. Perception, 26, 645–665.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Repp, B. H., & Thompson, J. M. (2010). Context sensitivity and invariance in perception of octave-ambiguous tones. Psychological Research, 74, 437–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schwartz, J.-L., Grimault, N., Hupé, J.-M., Moore, B. C. J., & Pressnitzer, D. (2012). Multistability in perception: Binding sensory modalities, an overview. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367, 896–905. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0254 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Semal, C., & Demany, L. (2006). Individual differences in the sensitivity to pitch direction. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120, 3907–3915.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shepard, R. N. (1964). Circularity in judgments of relative pitch. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 36, 2346–2353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Snyder, J. S., Carter, O. L., Hannon, E. E., & Alain, C. (2009). Adaptation reveals multiple levels of representation in auditory stream segregation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35, 1232–1244. doi:10.1037/a0012741 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Snyder, J. S., Carter, O. L., Lee, S.-K., Hannon, E. E., & Alain, C. (2008). Effects of context on auditory stream segregation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 1007–1016. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.4.1007 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wichmann, F., & Hill, N. J. (2001). The psychometric function: I. Fitting, sampling, and goodness of fit. Perception & Psychophysics, 63, 1293–1313. doi:10.3758/BF03194544 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire des Systèmes PerceptifsCNRS UMR 8248ParisFrance
  2. 2.Département d’Etudes CognitivesEcole Normale SupérieureParisFrance

Personalised recommendations