Temporal weights in loudness: Investigation of the effects of background noise and sound level

Autoři: Alexander Fischenich aff001;  Jan Hots aff002;  Jesko Verhey aff002;  Daniel Oberfeld aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany aff001;  Department of Experimental Audiology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223075


Previous research has consistently shown that for sounds varying in intensity over time, the beginning of the sound is of higher importance for the perception of loudness than later parts (primacy effect). However, in all previous studies, the target sounds were presented in quiet, and at a fixed average sound level. In the present study, temporal loudness weights for a time-varying narrowband noise were investigated in the presence of a continuous bandpass-filtered background noise and the average sound levels of the target stimuli were varied across a range of 60 dB. Pronounced primacy effects were observed in all conditions and there were no significant differences between the temporal weights observed in the conditions in quiet and in background noise. Within the conditions in background noise, there was a significant effect of the sound level on the pattern of weights, which was mainly caused by a slight trend for increased weights at the end of the sounds (“recency effect”) in the condition with lower average level. No such effect was observed for the in-quiet conditions. Taken together, the observed primacy effect is largely independent of masking as well as of sound level. Compatible with this conclusion, the observed primacy effects in quiet and in background noise can be well described by an exponential decay function using parameters based on previous studies. Simulations using a model for the partial loudness of time-varying sounds in background noise showed that the model does not predict the observed temporal loudness weights.

Klíčová slova:

Ambient noise – Background signal noise – Neurons – Sensory perception – Sound pressure – Vision – Auditory nerves


1. Scharf B (1978) Loudness. In: Carterette EC, Friedman MP, editors. Handbook of Perception, Volume IV Hearing. New York: Academic Press. pp. 187–242.

2. Glasberg BR, Moore BC (2006) Prediction of absolute thresholds and equal-loudness contours using a modified loudness model. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 120: 585–588. doi: 10.1121/1.2214151 16938942

3. Jesteadt W, Leibold L (2011) Loudness in the Laboratory, Part I: Steady-State Sounds. In: Florentine M, Popper AN, Fay RR, editors. Loudness: Springer. pp. 109–144.

4. Chalupper J, Fastl H (2002) Dynamic loudness model (DLM) for normal and hearing-impaired listeners. Acta Acustica United with Acustica 88: 378–386.

5. Rennies J, Verhey JL, Appell JE, Kollmeier B (2013) Loudness of complex time-varying sounds? A challenge for current loudness models. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 19.

6. Rennies J, Wächtler M, Hots J, Verhey J (2015) Spectro-temporal characteristics affecting the loudness of technical sounds: Data and model predictions. Acta Acustica United with Acustica 101: 1145–1156.

7. Oberfeld D, Plank T (2011) The temporal weighting of loudness: Effects of the level profile. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 73: 189–208.

8. Pedersen B, Ellermeier W (2008) Temporal weights in the level discrimination of time-varying sounds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 123: 963–972. doi: 10.1121/1.2822883 18247899

9. Dittrich K, Oberfeld D (2009) A comparison of the temporal weighting of annoyance and loudness. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 126: 3168–3178. doi: 10.1121/1.3238233 20000930

10. Oberfeld D, Hots J, Verhey JL (2018) Temporal weights in the perception of sound intensity: Effects of sound duration and number of temporal segments. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 143: 943–953. doi: 10.1121/1.5023686 29495718

11. Oberfeld D, Jung L, Verhey JL, Hots J (2018) Evaluation of a model of temporal weights in loudness judgments. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 144: EL119–EL124. doi: 10.1121/1.5049895 30180681

12. Graham FK, Hackley SA (1991) Passive and active attention to input. In: Jennings JR, Coles MGH, editors. Handbook of cognitive psychophysiology: Central and autonomic nervous system approaches. Chichester, West Sussex, England; New York, NY, USA: Wiley. pp. 251–356.

13. Pavlov IP (1927) Conditioned reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex. Translated and edited by Anrep G. V. London: Oxford University Press.

14. Sechenov IM (1965) Reflexes of the brain (original publication 1863). Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.

15. Koelewijn T, Bronkhorst A, Theeuwes J (2009) Auditory and visual capture during focused visual attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 35: 1303–1315. doi: 10.1037/a0013901 19803638

16. Jonides J, Yantis S (1988) Uniqueness of abrupt visual onset in capturing attention. Perception and Psychophysics 43: 346–354.3362663

17. Ruz M, Lupiáñez J (2002) A review of attentional capture: On its automaticity and sensitivity to endogenous control. Psicológica 23: 283–309.

18. Kiang NYS, Watanabe T, Thomas EC, Clark LF (1965) Discharge patterns of single fibers in the cat’s auditory nerve. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.

19. Nomoto M, Katsuki Y, Suga N (1964) Discharge pattern and inhibition of primary auditory nerve fibers in the monkey. Journal of Neurophysiology 27: 768–787. doi: 10.1152/jn.1964.27.5.768 14205004

20. Yates GK, Robertson D, Johnstone BM (1985) Very rapid adaptation in the guinea-pig auditory-nerve. Hearing Research 17: 1–12. doi: 10.1016/0378-5955(85)90124-8

21. Furukawa T, Matsuura S (1978) Adaptive rundown of excitatory post-synaptic potentials at synapses between hair cells and 8th nerve-fibers in goldfish. Journal of Physiology-London 276: 193–209.

22. Simmons AM, Schwartz JJ, Ferragamo M (1992) Auditory-nerve representation of a complex communication sound in background-noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 91: 2831–2844. doi: 10.1121/1.402964

23. Oberfeld D (2008) Does a rhythmic context have an effect on perceptual weights in auditory intensity processing? Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology-Revue Canadienne De Psychologie Experimentale 62: 24–32. doi: 10.1037/1196-1961.62.1.24 18473626

24. Kohlrausch A, Fassel R, van der Heijden M, Kortekaas R, van de Par S, Oxenham AJ, et al. (1997) Detection of tones in low-noise noise: Further evidence for the role of envelope fluctuations. Acustica 83: 659–669.

25. IEC 60318–1:1998 (1998) Electroacoustics—Simulators of human head and ear. Part 1: Ear simulator for the measurement of supra-aural and circumaural earphones. Geneva: International Electrotechnical Commission.

26. ISO 389–8 (2017) Acoustics—Reference zero for the calibration of audiometric equipment. Part 8: Reference equivalent threshold sound pressure levels for pure tones and circumaural earphones. Geneva.

27. Levitt H (1971) Transformed up-down methods in psychoacoustics. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 49: Suppl 2:467–477.

28. Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S (2000) Applied logistic regression. New York: Wiley.

29. Huynh H, Feldt LS (1976) Estimation of the Box correction for degrees of freedom from sample data in randomized block and split-plot designs. Journal of Educational Statistics 1: 69–82.

30. Murdock BB (1962) The serial position effect of free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology 64: 482–488.

31. Vickers D (1970) Evidence for an accumulator model of psychophysical discrimination. Ergonomics 13: 37–58. doi: 10.1080/00140137008931117 5416868

32. Tsetsos K, Gao J, McClelland JL, Usher M (2012) Using time-varying evidence to test models of decision dynamics: bounded diffusion vs. the leaky competing accumulator model. Frontiers in Neuroscience 6.

33. Bronfman ZZ, Brezis N, Usher M (2016) Non-monotonic Temporal-Weighting Indicates a Dynamically Modulated Evidence-Integration Mechanism. Plos Computational Biology 12.

34. Glasberg BR, Moore BCJ (2005) Development and evaluation of a model for predicting the audibility of time-varying sounds in the presence of background sounds. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 53: 906–918.

35. Glasberg BR, Moore BCJ (2002) A model of loudness applicable to time-varying sounds. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 50: 331–342.

36. Moore BCJ, Jervis M, Harries L, Schlittenlacher J (2018) Testing and refining a loudness model for time-varying sounds incorporating binaural inhibition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 143: 1504–1513. doi: 10.1121/1.5027246 29604698

37. Moore BCJ, Glasberg BR, Varathanathan A, Schlittenlacher J (2016) A loudness model for time-varying sounds incorporating binaural inhibition. Trends in Hearing 20.

38. Fastl H, Zwicker E (2007) Psychoacoustics: Facts and Models. Berlin: Springer.

39. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11