Buy Auditory Scene Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound on Amazon. com ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders. Albert S. Bregman (Author). Stewart H. Hulse, “Science” Auditory Scene Analysis addresses the problem of hearing complex auditory environments, using a series of Albert S. Bregman. In perception and psychophysics, auditory scene analysis (ASA) is a proposed model for the basis of auditory perception. This is understood as the process by which the human auditory system organizes sound into perceptually meaningful elements. The term was coined by psychologist Albert Bregman.

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Natural soundssuch as the analydis voicemusical instrumentsor cars passing in the street, are made up of many frequencies, which contribute to the perceived quality like timbre of the sounds.

Auditory scene analysis

The sound is chimeric in the sense that it does not belong to any single environmental object. Natural hearing tries to avoid chimeric percepts, but music often tries to create them. Judgments of timing are more precise between notes in the same stream than between anaysis in separate streams.

These can be broadly categorized into sequential grouping mechanisms those that operate across time and simultaneous grouping mechanisms those that operate across frequency:.

Huron’s Review of A. Bregman’s “Auditory Scene Analysis”

The fact that even monophonic melodies make use of “non-chordal” tones such as passing tones lends credence to the idea that part of their purpose is to enhance horizontal streaming rather than to add dissonance.

We tend to hear the rhythms among notes that are in the same stream, excluding those that are in other streams. Vowels with different fundamental frequencies”. Bregman has pointed out that the formation of an auditory stream is governed largely by this principle. Explanations of Violations of Exclusive Allocation.

Auditory Scene Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound – Albert S. Bregman – Google Books

Since Bregman proposes that primitive streaming is pre-attentive, the implication is that hierarchical stream organization is necessarily schema-based or at least attention-driven. When two or more natural sounds occur at once, all the components of the simultaneously active sounds are received at the same time, or overlapped in time, by the ears of listeners. Bregman suggests that due to reverberation and the transparency of sound, localization cues are comparatively unreliable p.

Even perceived spatial location and perceived loudness can be affected by sequential grouping. By contrast, scheme-based segregation is a top-down process that arises from experiential and cognitive factors. We also examine the question of whether ASA is innate by looking at research that has studied human adults using physiological methods, as well as research on human infants and on non-human animals.


This article has multiple issues. One of the most musically innovative ideas in the book is the theory of dissonance developed in conjunction with James Wright. Stephen McAdams has called these virtual sources ; Pierre Boulez has called them phantasmagoric instruments ; Bregman proposes the term chimeric percepts: Bregman’s ASA model proposes that sounds will either be heard as “integrated” heard as a whole — much like harmony in musicor “segregated” into individual components which leads to counterpoint.

Eindhoven University of Technology, doctoral dissertation. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. However, if the four through seventh intervals are extracted and rearranged so as to reduce the pitch proximity and so reduce the horizontal streaming the dissonances become evident Figure 1b. One example of this is the phenomenon of streamingalso called “stream segregation. Even discrete sounds — such as a series of footsteps or the dripping of a tap — are often caused by an on-going coherent activity. This can be done with chords where it can be heard as a ‘color’, or as the individual notes.

In such sequences, the segregation of co-occurring sounds scehe distinct streams has a profound effect on the way they are heard. Articles needing additional references from May All articles needing additional references Articles needing expert attention with no reason or talk parameter Articles needing expert attention from November All articles needing expert attention Cognitive science articles needing expert attention Articles with multiple maintenance issues All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from March In this case, when perceiving a chord, the amalgamated partials of a constituent chordal tone don’t really form a stream per sebut rather form a potential stream that is realized only with a shift of attention from chord to chordal tone.

In fact, the albfrt could be true.

However, none of the above researchers have pursued the topic with such sustained conviction and in such detail as Al Bregman. In practice, this means that most non-chordal notes will maintain close within-voice pitch proximity i.

Primitive segregation is a bottom-up process whereby streams are parsed according to the correlations of acoustical cues. A number of grouping principles appear to underlie ASA, many of which are related to principles of perceptual organization discovered by the school of Gestalt psychology.


In general, individaul sounds tend to coalesce into a single percept in proportion to the physical correlations shared by the parts. Temporal Coherence in the Perception of Tone Sequences.

While the initial research on this topic was done on human adults, recent studies have shown that some ASA capabilities are present in newborn infants, showing that they are built-in, rather than learned through experience.

In primitive streaming, increasing the tempo of presentation always enhances the with-stream integration and between-stream segregation.

One would have thought that location would provide the strongest cue in the construction of an ecological representation since one of the best generalizations that can be made about independent sound sources is that they normally occupy distinct positions in space. But it has been suggested that about any systematic perceptual difference between two sequences can elicit streaming, [7] provided the speed of the sequence is sufficient.

Normally the formation of a stream is signalled by, 1 the opacity of its constituent parts, and 2 the concurrent appearance of the emergent properties of the new whole. Segregation can be based primarily on perceptual cues or rely on the recognition of learned patterns “schema-based”. Without doubt, this volume is destined to be a classic treatise in hearing sciences.

An example of an auditory chimera would be a heard sentence that was created by the accidental composition of the voices of two persons who just happened to be speaking at the same time. This website presents the research of the McGill Auditory Research Laboratory and the theoretical ideas that developed from it and guided its investigations.

When sounds ahditory grouped by the auditory system into a perceived sequence, distinct from other co-occurring sequences, each of these perceived sequences is called an “auditory stream”. An interactive web page illustrating this streaming and the importance bregjan frequency separation and speed can be found here. In short, the historical increase in musical dissonance is less attributable to the increasing prevalence of dissonant vertical moments, and more attributable to the weakening of horizontal streaming.