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Perceptual Aspects of Hearing

In this section, we consider a few psychoacoustic aspects of our hearing process. Most of these characteristics are subjective in nature and the reported capabilities generally represent averages determined from measurements of large populations. Psychoacoustics is an immense field of study which has gained much recognition recently in conjunction with sound data compression and 3-dimensional audio recreation systems. If you are intrigued by this research, consider taking Music 151: Psychophysics and Cognitive Psychology for Musicians.

Loudness of Pure Tones

Figure 15: Equal-loudness curves for pure tones (from Rossing, 1990).
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Loudness of Complex Tones


Loudness and Duration

Pitch Discrimination

Pure Tone Pitch and Duration

Pure Tone Pitch and Interfering Sounds

Virtual Pitch


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