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Global and Continuous Loudness Estimation of Time-Varying Levels

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Conventional psychoacoustic methods are not sufficient to produce instantaneous judgments or real-time perceptual tracking of nonstationary sounds. In order to evaluate continuously or globally the loudness of pure tones of variable duration and time-varying level, two cross-modal matching methods were used, one with continuous force feedback and another without force feedback but using a continuous analogical/categorical judgment scale. The global loudness of various predefined acoustic level profiles was estimated under two experimental conditions: one with continuous estimation during the sound sequence and the other without. The results show that the continuous judgment profiles transcribe quite well the stimulus contours, although a temporal lag on the order of 1 s between stimulus contour and response profile is observed, as is an asymmetry between increasing and decreasing profiles. Global judgments are influenced by the rate or duration of level change and by the level at the end of the signal. A recency effect, similar to that observed in auditory memory research using an immediate recall task, is thus revealed for loudness estimates on nonstationary sounds lasting a few tens of seconds. Finally, global judgments are generally higher without preceding continuous evaluation for both matching methods.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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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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