Spectral and temporal cues for perception of material and action categories in impacted sound sources

Jens Hjortkjær, Stephen McAdams

10 Citationer (Scopus)


In two experiments, similarity ratings and categorization performance with recorded impact sounds representing three material categories (wood, metal, glass) being manipulated by three different categories of action (drop, strike, rattle) were examined. Previous research focusing on single impact sounds suggests that temporal cues related to damping are essential for material discrimination, but spectral cues are potentially more efficient for discriminating materials manipulated by different actions that include multiple impacts (e.g., dropping, rattling). Perceived similarity between material categories across different actions was correlated with the distribution of long-term spectral energy (spectral centroid). Similarity between action categories was described by the temporal distribution of envelope energy (temporal centroid) or by the density of impacts. Moreover, perceptual similarity correlated with the pattern of confusion in categorization judgments. Listeners tended to confuse materials with similar spectral centroids, and actions with similar temporal centroids and onset densities. To confirm the influence of these different features, spectral cues were removed by applying the envelopes of the original sounds to a broadband noise carrier. Without spectral cues, listeners retained sensitivity to action categories but not to material categories. Conversely, listeners recognized material but not action categories after envelope scrambling that preserved long-term spectral content.
TidsskriftJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)409-420
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2016


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