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Subjective Loudness and Its Physical Correlate

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According to the physical correlate theory, judgments of sensory intensity are based upon learned estimates of physical magnitudes correlated with changes in sensory stimulation rather than built-in neural functions. Relative loudness judgments are considered to be derived from familiarity with the effects of distance upon neural input. The following consequences of theory each have experimental support: (1) half-loudness judgments are numerically equivalent to estimates of the effect of doubling distance from the sound source; (2) equal stimulus ratios produce equal loudness ratios; (3) under ideal conditions, one-quarter sound intensity equals half-loudness; (4) the rules above apply not only for sounds produced by external sources, but also for self-generated sounds; (5) reverberation modifies loudness in specified ways; (6) new loudness scales are established by teaching of new physical correlates. This theory is placed in historical perspective, and related to evidence from other modalities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 1977

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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