Albert S. Bergman explores ASA, the process by which we are able to take a real-world sonic situations to determine the perceived pitch, timbre, loudness, and spatial position of separate, individual sounds.

In typical listening situations, different acoustic sources arrive to the listener as a sum of a complex set of sounds (sum of their spectra). ASA is the grouping, integration, and segregation of sensory data into separate mental representations (auditory streams)

  • Sequential Grouping: connect similar spectral data over time
  • Simultaneous Grouping: select simultaneous parts of the same sound
  • The auditory system takes advantage of “periodic” sounds (component frequencies are integers of the fundamental) to identify different sounds
  • Primitive aspects of ASA: innate, rely on acoustic structure of sensory input (shape of the ear, head, etc)
  • Knowledge-based aspects of ASA: involve conscious attention or previous experience
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