ILLUSIONS RELATED TO THE TEMPORAL CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY OF SOUNDS

  • Yoshitaka Nakajima

Abstract

I take up three auditory illusions related to the temporal continuity and discontinuity of sounds. In 1) the continuity illusion, a long tone of 1-2 s interrupted by a short noise of 100- 300 ms, for example, is often perceived as continuous. In 2) the gap transfer illusion, typically a glide of 1.5 s or above with a temporal gap of about 100-300 ms in the middle and a shorter continuous glide of about 400-600 ms cross each other at their central positions; the gap in the longer glide is perceived as if it were in the shorter glide. In 3) the illusory auditory completion, typically a glide of 1.5 s or above and a shorter glide of about 400-600 ms cross each other, sharing a gap shorter than 50 ms; this gap is often perceived as if it were only in the shorter glide. These illusions can be explained by assuming a perceptual mechanism to detect and combine onsets and offsets (terminations) of sounds as independent components.

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