Auditory stream segregation and the perception of across-frequency synchrony

Christophe Micheyl, Cynthia Hunter, Andrew J. Oxenham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    21 Scopus citations


    This study explored the extent to which sequential auditory grouping affects the perception of temporal synchrony. In Experiment 1, listeners discriminated between 2 pairs of asynchronous " target" tones at different frequencies, A and B, in which the B tone either led or lagged. Thresholds were markedly higher when the target tones were temporally surrounded by " captor tones" at the A frequency than when the captor tones were absent or at a remote frequency. Experiment 2 extended these findings to asynchrony detection, revealing that the perception of synchrony, one of the most potent cues for simultaneous auditory grouping, is not immune to competing effects of sequential grouping. Experiment 3 examined the influence of ear separation on the interactions between sequential and simultaneous grouping cues. The results showed that, although ear separation could facilitate perceptual segregation and impair asynchrony detection, it did not prevent the perceptual integration of simultaneous sounds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1029-1039
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


    • Asynchrony
    • Auditory perception
    • Perceptual organization
    • Stream segregation

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