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Open Access Temporal Order Judgment Reveals Local-Global Auditory Processes

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Speech signals can be considered as acoustic sequences composed of local units (e.g. phonemes) which form global acoustic patterns (e.g.syllables). Extraction of speech information at both local and global scales is essential for comprehension. To decipher this process, we employed the temporal order judgement (TOJ) paradigm and investigated how the auditory system processes acoustic sequences. We selected four vowel segments of 30 ms and generated short acoustic sequences. We then examined listeners' performance on TOJ of the vowel sequences using a same-different paradigm. The data showed that acoustic changes on a local scale caused by reversing vowel segments modify TOJ performance. Furthermore, the effect of local changes was attenuated when inter-onset interval between vowel segments increases, where segments can be recognised individually. A follow-up experiment showed that recognition of each segment was modulated by segment position and indicated that positions of acoustic segments contribute differently to TOJ. The results suggest that listeners perform TOJ by perceiving global patterns of acoustic sequences, which are further modulated by acoustic details on a local scale. Acoustic information on the local and global scales determines concurrently identification of short acoustic sequences.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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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