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The Effects of Acoustic Intensity, Spectrum, and Duration on Global Loudness Change

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Global loudness change is a post-stimulus retrospective judgement that measures listeners' overall impressions of loudness change in response to stimuli with continuous increases (up-ramps) and decreases (down-ramps) of acoustic intensity that are otherwise acoustically identical. Past results indicate that global loudness change is significantly greater in response to up-ramps relative to down-ramps for tonal stimuli (e. g., vowel) but not white-noise. An adaptive perceptual bias for up-ramp tonal stimuli has been proposed as a functional ecological explanation. However, global loudness change may also be influenced by stimulus duration and an end-level recency-in-memory mechanism that biases retrospective global judgements on a ramp's end-level intensity, rather than its entire magnitude of intensity change. The present within-subjects experiment (N = 34) was designed to systematically investigate the eff ects of intensity, spectrum, and duration on global loudness change when end-level recency is controlled. Up-ramps and down-ramps were embedded within two spectral conditions (tonal vowel / and white-noise) and presented over three durations (1.8 s, 3.6 s, 7.2 s) and two regions of intensity change (45–65 dB SPL, 65–85 dB SPL). End-level recency response bias was controlled through the use of balanced end-level comparisons between 45–65 dB SPL up-ramps and 85–65 dB SPL down-ramps that both converged on 65 dB SPL. Overall, global loudness change was significantly greater in response to vowel and white-noise up-ramps, relative to their corresponding down-ramps. However, with end-level recency controlled, global loudness change was significantly greater for up-ramps relative to down-ramps in 3.6 s and 7.2 s vowel conditions only. This was facilitated by an up-ramp-specific eff ect of duration, where the magnitude of global loudness change increased as vowel up-ramp duration increased from 3.6 s to 7.2 s. The findings are discussed in the context of psychoacoustics and ecological acoustics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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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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