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Are Temporal Loudness Weights Under Top-Down Control? Effects of Trial-By-Trial Feedback

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Previous studies showed that listeners apply non-uniform temporal weights when judging the overall loudness of a time-varying sound. The loudness judgments are influenced more strongly by level changes on the initial temporal portion of the sound than on later temporal portions (primacy effect). In additional, higher weights are assigned to stimulus components with a higher average loudness (loudness dominance). The present study investigated whether the temporal weights in a loudness-judgment task are under top-down control. Specifically, the experiment studied whether trial-by-trial feedback helps listeners in adjusting their temporal weights to approximate the uniform weighting pattern that would maximize the accuracy in the task. The stimuli were time-varying sounds with a duration of 1 s, with either a flat level profile or with a gradual increase or decrease in level imposed on the first 300 ms. A clear primacy effect was observed for sounds with a flat level profile, with the first temporal segment receiving the highest weight. For the two other level profiles, the weight showed strong level dominance effects. The sensitivity was higher when trial-by-trial feedback rather than only block feedback was provided. The patterns of temporal weights did not differ significantly between the two types of feedback. However, trial-by-trial feedback resulted in the adoption of more efficient weighting strategies. Thus, the characteristic nonuniform patterns of temporal perceptual weights observed for loudness judgments of dynamic sounds are not removed by trial-by-trial feedback, but are under limited top-down control.
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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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