Reading Activity Week #12 (Due Monday)

| 40 Comments

Please read chapter 11. After reading chapter 11, please respond to the following questions:

What were three things from the chapter that you found interesting? Why were they interesting to you? Which one thing did you find the least interesting? Why? What did you read in the chapter that you think will be most useful to in understanding Sensation & Perception? Finally indicate two topics or concepts that you might like more information about.

Note: Keep in mind that there are no scheduled exams. When you make you posts make sure they are of sufficient caliber that the could be used as notes in a test - since the posts are what we are doing in lieu of an exam. Be sure to use the terms and terminology in your posts.

Once you are done with your post make list of the terms and terminology you used in your post.

40 Comments

While reading chapter 11, I found many concepts interesting to read about but found a few of particular interest. I especially enjoyed reading about tone height and tone chroma because I am not very talented musically, but have played instruments and appreciate the complexity of making music. Musical pitch is one of the characteristics of musical notes, which are the sounds that make up melodies. Pitch is the psychological aspect of sound related mainly to the fundamental frequency. In order to understand musical pitch, we need to understand octave. Octave is the interval between two sound frequencies having a ratio of 2:1.When one of two periodic sounds is double the frequency of the other, those two sounds are one octave apart. Musical pitch is typically described as having two dimensions. The first being tone height-related to frequency, and tone chroma-related to the octave. Tone height is a sound quality whereby a sound is heard to be of higher or lower pitch. Tone height is monotonically related to frequency. Tone chroma is a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval. The textbook related musical pitch to a helix, with frequency and tone height increasing with the increasing height on the helix. The circular laps around the helix correspond to changes in tone chroma. At the same position along each lap around the helix, a sound will lie on a vertical line, and all sounds along that particular line share the same tone chroma and are separated by octaves.

Another concept I found enjoyable to read about was speech production because I had never learned about the anatomy and physiology involved in speech. The production of speech has three basic components: respiration (involving the lungs), phonation (vocal cords), and articulation (vocal tract). In order to initiate a speech sound, the diaphragm pushes air out of the lungs, through the trachea, and up to the larynx. Arriving at the larynx, air passes through the two vocal folds, made up of muscle tissue that can be adjusted to vary how freely air passes through the opening between them. These adjustments are referred to as types of phonation. The speed at which the vocal folds vibrate is dependent upon their stiffness and mass. The textbook uses guitar strings as an example. Like tuning a guitar string, more tension on vocal folds makes them stiffer and increases the rate of vibration, which creates sounds with higher pitch. The pitch of the guitar strings also depends on its thickness or mass. Thinner guitar strings vibrate more quickly and create higher-pitched sounds. Men have lower-pitched voices than women and children because during puberty testosterone increases the mass of the vocal folds. By adjusting the tension of vocal folds and the airflow pressure from the lungs, speakers can vary the fundamental frequency of voiced sounds.

I also found the concept of ‘learning to listen’ to be an interesting and important concept because as humans we interact with other humans on a daily basis, and understanding one another is crucial for effective communication. Similar to vision, experience is important for auditory perception, especially perception of speech. In contrast to vision, experience with speech begins very early in development, with infants gaining significant experience even before they are born. Researchers have studied the measurements of heart rates as an indicator of the ability to notice the change between speech sounds, and have revealed that late-term fetuses can discriminate between different vowel sounds. Newborns prefer hearing their mother’s voice over other women’s voices; infants also show a preference for hearing the native language of their mother or the location where they spent their time in the womb. Due to our experience with the speech sounds of our first language, it is often difficult to perceive and produce distinctions in a new language. This is why it is difficult to learn and accurately produce the speech sounds of a different language later in life.

A concept I found the least interesting to learn about from chapter 11 was coarticulation. This is an important concept regarding speech production, but I found some of the information to be uninteresting and a repeat of information I have learned in the past. Speech production is very fast, with humans producing 10-15 consonants and vowels per second, and can be doubled if we want to communicate information in a hurry. Our articulators (tongue, lips, jaw, etc) must perform many different tasks very quickly. Forces of mass and inertia impede articulators from getting all the way to the position for the next consonant or vowel. The more experience we have with speaking, the greater the ability we have to adjust their production in anticipation of where articulators need to be next. In this way, production of one speech sound overlaps production of the next, and this overlap is called coarticulation. Coarticulation is the phenomenon in speech whereby attributes of successive speech units overlap in articulatory or acoustic patterns.

I think the concept of speech production will be the most useful to my understanding of sensation and perception because one must understand the structure and function of the body parts used to produce the sounds we perceive as speech and language in order to fully understand how the concept of speech operates.

I would like more information regarding the anatomy and physiology of speech production because I really enjoyed learning about it, but think some visuals or detailed examples would further my understanding of the concept. I would also like more information regarding coarticulation, because maybe with more detailed explanations I would find the concept more interesting to learn about. I also did not think the textbook explained the concept to the fullest extent, and further explanations could fully develop my understanding of the topic.

Terms: tone height, tone chroma, pitch, fundamental frequency, octave, octave interval, speech production, respiration, phonation, articulation, vocal tract, vocal cords, diaphragm, trachea, larynx, vocal folds, vibration, mass, auditory perception, vowel sounds, coarticulation, consonants, articulators, mass, inertia, speech units, acoustic patterns

Pitch is pretty interesting, because it is psychological and not physical, but contributes to our perception and production of those complex aspects of sound and music.

The concept from this chapter that I believe will best aid me in my understanding of S & P is the theory that we learned about from class and I was also mentioned in this chapter, the McGurk effect. I think that this is a really cool concept that I could show my friends and family so that they could get a fascinating taste of what I am learning in college. The McGurk effect relates to visual cues and articulators. Articulation is basically just the production of speech from the vocal tract. When the two concepts are mixed, as in the McGurk effect, the ears pick up one signal and the eyes pick up another. Based on whether you are seeing or hearing you will hear different noises. This little trick in the brain seems to me to be important because it shows that in order for the different senses to work together properly attention must be paid to different stimulus to get the proper message. This in fact tells me that all of the communication errors that humans make consistently are just a part of life and a part of our natural perceptual process. The McGurk effect in a way relates to coarticulation. In order to understand coarticulation you must understand that speech comes out very quickly, therefore some speech units overlap as they come out. What I liked about this concept was that it relates to how humans have attempted to create machines that can understand human speech. I am baffled by the progression science has made in this area. When cell phone first came out with voice recognition technology it was poor to say the least. You could say MOM 12 times and your phone would still call tom, sue, gene, and bob before it would actually call your mom. On the other hand as technology has advanced the sky seems to be the limit, Siri, the eye phone lady understands speech quite well. I was very skeptical at first, knowing what I know from my course on Memory and Language. Siri is smart, she seems to understand language very clearly and almost always gets in right. What I love the most about Siri is that she sometimes shoots back sarcastic comments which is just too fun.
The other concepts I found interesting in this chapter were tempo, rhythm, and melody development. The only thing I disliked about the chapter was that to describe these concepts they used many musical note examples and other terms related to music that I have a hard time comprehending. For some reason I have never been interested in learning to understand the world of musical notes. Back on the positive side what I thought was interesting about tempo and how it creates a melody by allowing it to slow down or speed up, in my opinion this has a lot to do with the mood and emotion that comes along with music. Rhythm is also a big part of making that connection between emotion and sound perception. I thought the experiment discussed in the book about how people could find a rhythm that was deemed rhythm less by the researchers. I tried my own experiment in the library to see if I could identify a rhythm while typing this blog. It turned out that my brain had no problem mixing the sound of the printers with the person tapping their pencil next to me, with my typing etc. to help me achieve the perception of a rhythm which turned into a melody as I was able to create a pattern in my head made up of what should have been random sounds. This is quite fascinating when you think about it. In my mind this means that humans have a desire to create logic and understand out of meaningless stimuli or to try and find the meaning in the meaningless.
The concept in this chapter that I would like to learn more about is chords, tone height, and tone Chroma. I have a general feel for the terms but since I have little understanding of reading music and a musical helix I had a hard time conceptualizing these concepts. I am not sure if it is possible to give different examples to help me to better understand the terms but if it is possible this would be helpful.

Terms: tempo, rhythm, melody, coarticualtion, Siri, formant, McGurk effect, chords, visual cues, vocal tract, coarticulation, melody development, tone height, and tone Chroma.


The McGurk Effect!!! Yes. I have learned about this and taught about it several times in classes that I've taught. I first heard about it when I was taking Otto's class as an undergrad. Pretty cool thing that again, tells you how the brain lies to us and allows us to falsely assume what we are seeing and hearing are the same thing, but the inputs differ! Even if it is a lab-based trick on the mind, it is very telling of just how wrong we can be about what we thing we are perceiving!

In the chapter I thought the part about musical notes was interesting. There is a pitch assigned to each perceived frequency (ABCDEFG). You can then have the same pitch at a higher sound this means that the pitch is in a different octave. An octave is the interval between two sound frequencies having a ration of 2:1, The book used a helix to demonstrate the different pitches. It gave the example of singing do, re, mi, fa so, la ti do in music class as a demonstration of one moving their voice up the helix. As you move up the helix, the frequency and tone height increase. Tone height is basically the sound being heard in a higher or lower pitch. Tone chroma is a little bit harder to explain. When picturing the helix. It goes up in a circular motion. The tone chroma is the points (sounds) that share the same octive interval. So as the sounds move up the helix it repeats ABCDEFG, ABCDEFG, ABCDEFG over and over as you move up this octive. In the helix each A,B, C,D,E,F and G lie on the same line creating the tone chroma. I thought this was interesting because this is something that can be applied to every day life and it is something interesting to think about.
I thought the section on cultural differences in scales was very interesting. Of course the major differences in notes are fairly similar some cultures use different numbers of notes and different spacing to represent their scales and their octaves. The Javanese pelog Scale is an example of this. They use less notes and more frequencies are acceptable for each note. I thought that it was very interesting that even the infants appeared t be equally good at detecting the “mistakes” (differences in the scales). It is shown that they learn whatever scale is used in their own environment. I think it would be really interesting to see how they measured this.
Another thing that I really found interesting was the part in the chapter about respiration and phonation. Air from our diaphragm goes through several passages in our body to create sound. It must pass through the trachea, to the larynx, and through two vocal folds. This is called phonation. The bigger the vocal folds a person has the deeper their voice is. Children and women typically have smaller vocal folds than men. However one can vary the tension in the vocal folds to create different frequencies in voice sounds. I think it is interesting that so much goes into this and without thinking about it much we can easily alter the frequencies of our voice. I also think it would be interesting to learn why when you inhale helium your voice is high pitched.
I think the thing that I found least interesting is that we can recognize melodies even at different pitches. I mean, it is kind of cool, and probably something we really take for granted, but it just seemed kind of like common sense to me. A melody is an arrangement of notes or chords in succession. So we string together different pitches and chords to make a melody. The tempo of the melody is another important aspect of understanding the tune. This is the perceived speed and presentation of the sounds. This can be played/sung at a faster or slower rates long as the durations are relative to each other. So even when we sing this at a different octave or faster tempo we hear the same melody and we can identify the tune.
I think the 2 most important things in the chapter in relation to sensation and perception is the general understanding of how and why we hear different sounds differently as they pertain to the frequency, pitch and octave. I also think it is important to understand speech in the brain.
I would like to learn more abut speech in the brain also more about speech perception.
Terms: Pitch, frequency, octave, tone height, tone chroma, melody, tempo, trachea, larynx, phonation, voice folds,

Lot has to happen just to speak!! We take this for granted so much that we can't imagine not being able to produce speech. Crazy

In Chapter 11 I learned a lot more about what went into and created both music and speech. I found the chapter over all interesting, but more so because music itself is created with perceivers in mind. Particularly one thing I found interesting was octave in relation to how it helps distinguish between pitches with similar frequencies. Octave, itself meaning the interval between two sound frequencies have a ration of 2.1. In relation to octave and how a person distinguishes between sounds, two more factors come into play; tone height and tone chroma. Tone height is a sound quality correspondence to the level of pitch; monotonically related to frequency. Tone chroma is a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval.

Another thing I found interesting to learn about was melody development. Melody itself is a psychological entity when it comes to music and sound. It’s our individual experience with these sequences of notes and sounds that help us perceive coherence. Melody is also something that can learn at young ages, like 8 month old young. I know I’ve heard people playing classical music to their kids to make them smarter, I really don’t know how that would work. However, making them listen to melodies and music to make them more musically inclined I could defiantly see.

The third and probably the most interesting thing I learned in this chapter was what all went into speech. Something I clearly take granted for and has little knowledge of just how it works. It’s clearly a bit more complicated than I ever though and actually has multiple things coming into play to create speech. The vocal tract, the airway above the larynx used for production of speech, including the nasal and oral tract is the area that speech comes from. Speech itself needs three part of the body, the lungs, vocal cords and the vocal tract. All three of these need to be manipulated to in fact create the speech we use every day, and that manipulation is called articulation; the act or manner of producing speech sound using the vocal tract. Formant is the resonance of the vocal tract. Formant is used to specify their center frequencies and are denoted by integers that increase with relative frequency in speech. A means used to compare speech sounds between individuals. Amazing how speech is so simple to do but so complicated in the process of doing it within our bodies.

Terms: frequency, pitch,melody, articulation, formant, vocal tract, octave, tone height, tone chroma

Good post. Pretty complex process to get to speech!

After reading chapter 11 I found the section about rhythm to be most interesting. I like listening to music, but I have never really had an interest in playing music. This is one reason I found this section to be interesting. I find it fascinating that when humans hear sounds we usually perceive those sounds as having a rhythm even if there isn’t one at all. Research has shown we automatically group the sounds together so there is a rhythm. We perceive a rhythmic sound usually because the sounds are either accented or unaccented. Timing, loudness, and pitch also factor into what type of rhythm we perceive. Rhythm is mostly psychological. We hear sounds that are not there and we perceive rhythm when it is not there. This is also another reason I found rhythm to be interesting.

I also found the section about categorical perception to be interesting. This section was interesting to me because sounds that are very similar to one another can be determined as different to our auditory system. I found it really interesting that we can determine these differences very quickly. Researchers found that when we perceive changes in pure tones we do it gradually and in levels, but they found when we perceive speech sounds we perceive the difference almost automatically and quickly. When we hear two similar but different speech sounds we determine there is a difference almost perfectly every time. Because we determine the difference almost perfectly every time research has shown that we are more likely to perceive a difference in two speech sounds that are exactly the same.

Another area in chapter 11 I found interesting was the section about learning to listen. I mainly found this section interesting because I can relate to it. Just like visual perception our speech perception develops more through experience. Experience of speech perception is experience much earlier in life than visual perception. Speech perception is experienced even before a child is born. Once babies are born they can determine the difference of voices that they have heard in the womb. I found it interesting that babies enjoy their mother’s voice over other voices. Also research has shown that whatever language is in the environment while the child is in the womb is the language they prefer to hear. When a baby is born they are able to notice acoustic differences in speech as early as 6 months.

The section I found to be least interesting was also in the section about learning to listen. I found the section about learning multiple languages to be least interesting because this is information I have known, and I have learned in other classes. I have known that the earlier you learn a different language the more likely you are to remember it and use it. This is why schools are now teaching new languages in elementary rather than in high school. Although this seemed to be common knowledge to me I did find it interesting that because schools are teaching a second language at younger ages it can be more difficult for children to develop their first language. This section may have been uninteresting to me, but I do think it is important because we are becoming more and more diverse. I believe it is important that people know two different languages.

After reading the chapter I thought the most important aspect in understanding sensation and perception was the sections on speech perception. I thought these sections were most important because it is how we understand speech and how we are able to communicate. I found it interesting that our perception of speech can be very complicated, but also somewhat simple. For example we have the ability of categorical perception; this is not only in speech perception but also in our visual perception, like faces. I also found it interesting that animals are also able to do this. We are able to perceive sound very quickly and this is because coarticulation. There can be little acoustic invariance, but because there is a contrast we can perceive the differences in speech sounds. Although I found speech perception to be important in understanding sensation and perception I also believe speech production to be important. This is also important because we need speech production to understand speech perception.

The two areas I would like to know more information about would be the information about music making, mostly rhythm and melody. I would like to know more information about this are because I have never played music or a musical instrument and it is something I find interesting. I’m sure if I was around more music when I was a child I would know more information. I would also like to know more information about how early an infant can perceive speech. I find it very interesting that infants pick up language when they are in the womb.

Terms: rhythm, accented, unaccented, categorical perception, auditory system, pure tones, visual perception, speech perception, acoustic differences, coarticulation, acoustic invariance, speech production, melody

It is pretty interesting that infants can hear when they are in the womb. Indicates that even while the sensory systems and organs are still developing, there can be some transduction of those signals, that apparently get in and register. Pretty cool.

I thought that the most interesting thing in this chapter was how music has the ability to change a person’s mood. If the music is well liked, the serotonin levels (which are involved in depression) will actually lower. This means that good music will literally improve our moods. The same effect occurs when the music is disliked, serotonin levels will rise. This shows the importance of music to the understanding of sensation and perception.

In order to make music, a melody must be formed. A melody is an organization of chords in a particular way. The chords within the melody consist of rich complex sounds that are a combination of musical notes. An example of this is when a person is first learning to play the guitar. Typically, chords are the some of the most basic sounds a beginning guitar player can produce. In each chord, the musician must hold down 2-4 strings, depending on the note. Each string is a singular musical note, therefore when several strings are held down at once, and then a chord is formed. In addition to chords, tempo is also very important to how a melody is perceived. Tempo is the speed of the melody, it can be adjusting by playing the music faster or slower. It is important that tempo only changes the speed, and not the content of the melody. If this is not maintained, then the melody is changed completely.

I found the section about speech sounds interesting because I have grown up with a speech impediment. I was curious to see which part of speech that I was struggling with. There are three parts of speech- respiration, phonation, and articulation. Respiration involves the movement of the diaphragm. The diaphragm pushes air up the vocal folds, causing a vibration. This vibration then results in the phonation of words. The vibration determines each individual’s fundamental frequency of his or her voice, or the tone of his or her voice. After phonation, the words must be articulated. Articulation is when the words are turned from vibration sounds into organized speech sounds developed in the vocal tract. This change occurs by a combination of movements by the jaws, lips tongue and other structures. My speech impediment is that I have a lisp, therefore my problem lies in the articulation phase of speech. More specifically, my tongue does not move in the correct manner to make speech normal speech sounds.

I was confused by the section about the McGurk effect. I understand that we see the person saying ‘gah’, and that we hear them saying ‘bah’, but I don’t understand why this is. According to the book, the reason for this phenomena is that speech perception mechanisms fuse together . But I do not understand this reasoning. I also would like more information on categorical perception and articulation.

Terms: serotonin, melody, chords, tempo, speech sounds, respiration, diaphragm, phonation, articulation, McGurk Effect.

So there is this white matter tract called the arcuate fasciculus that ties visual areas to places like Wernickes (comprehension). This connects the visual and verbal input. Sometimes there is a combination of these signals so that when the mouth is actually saying Da (or whatever) but the sound is Ba, you actually HEAR GA (which was present in neither the visual or verbal input). Indicates how we can get a mismatch of the verbal input and visual input and be wrong about it. When you close your eyes you hear the verbal Ba. When you mute it, it looks like Da. Crazy stuff.

After reading chapter 11, I found many topics that were of interest to me. The first section I like reading about was that of tone height and tone chroma. We earlier talked about pitch, which is the psychological aspect of sound related mainly to the fundamental frequency. This comes into play when we learn about Octaves. An octave is the interval between two sound frequencies having a ratio of 2:1. When one of two periodic sounds is double the frequency of the other, those two sounds is one octave apart. When we related octaves to musical pitch, it’s typically described as having two dimensions. The first is tone height, which is a sound quality corresponding to the level of pitch. Tone height is monotonically related to frequency. The other dimension is tone chroma. Tone chroma is a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval. The book describes says we can view musical pitch like a helix. Frequency and tone height increase with height on the helix. I found this cool because this how musical notes used. Each instrument has a chart of frequencies that it can obtain and tone height and chroma kind of explain this to me.

Another topic I found interesting was articulation. Articulation is the act or manner of producing a speech sound using the vocal tract. The area above the larynx where the nasal tract and oral tract combine is referred to as the vocal tract. We have the ability to manipulate our vocal tract by moving our jaw, lips, tongue, body, tongue tip, velum, and other vocal tract structures. Changing the size and shape of the space which sound goes through increases and decreases it at different frequencies. These different frequencies or “resonance characteristics” are formants. Formants are specified by their center frequency and are donated by integers that increase with relative frequency. We can establish almost all frequency sounds on the basis of energy in formants. I found articulation interesting because we are able to change the frequency of the sound we produce just by movements of our body.

One final topic I found interesting was learning how to listen. It was a brief section that talked about how we learn to listen. Experience is very important for our auditory perception. Babies begin auditory experience even before they are born. Heart rates taken from ultrasounds indicate that late term fetuses can discriminate between different vowel sounds. Prenatal babies prefer hearing their mother’s voice over other women’s voices. Also, children prefer hearing stories they heard in the womb when they are finally born. I found this to be cool because I had no idea that this was even possible. Perhaps reading to your unborn child has many more benefits than we actually know about.

The section I found least interesting was coarticulation. I didn’t really understand how coarticulation causes a speech sound to become more like the previous speech sound. The bah and dah example kind of confused me and I didn’t get what the f2 frequency really meant.

I think the most useful thing I learned out of this chapter was learning were in the brain speech is process. Speech sounds are processed in both hemispheres of the brain much like other complex sounds. They eventually become part of our linguistic message. Then speech is further processed in the anterior and ventral regions in the left superior temporal cortex. I think it’s really important to understand what parts of the brain are used for different regions of our body. The brain is really fascinating to me as well so I think that’s what interests me the most.

Two concepts I would like to learn more about would be coarticulation and spectrograms.

Terms- tone height, tone chroma, fundamental frequency, pitch, octaves, articulation, resonance characteristics, formants, coarticulation, spectrograms.

I think the f2 is the 2nd harmonic of the fundamental frequency of the speech sound. So you get the second harmonic of the sound getting integrated with what is going on visually (the word you see being mouthed) and you misinterpret the two signals as a different signal.

One of the most interesting parts of Chapter 11 for me was the portion about learning languages, because I have always found linguistics to be extremely intriguing. This section introduced me to the the term "flap", which is pair of sounds that are similar to one sound (such as the English distinction between "R" and "L" that is not made in Japanese; therefore native Japanese often struggle to enunciate the two). Research shows that infants already exhibit the ability to distinguish between vowel sounds before they are able to speak, but they start to ignore non-native vowel distinctions by the time they are a year old! Perhaps most interesting to me was the simple manner by which babies are thought to gradually glean words from an otherwise-intelligible word stream. At their most fundamental level, words are just the sequences of sounds that babies hear grouped together most often. It is amazing how young children are such intense linguistic sponges while growing up - it seems we could do a lot more in the way of educating children in multiple languages if only we tried.

Another fun section was the part about how speech is actually produced. This was probably better than most of the other anatomical part of the book, if only for the sake of its sheer novelty. For such a seemingly common act, producing speech is actually quite the intricate interaction of a few different system. Since we are the only creatures capable of refined speech, it is fairly intuitive that we have a unique vocal tract, but i did not know this was due to our larynx being positioned lower than in other animals. It was also interesting to note that this causes us to be far more prone to choking and that we do not share in the ability to swallow and breathe simultaneously. Speech is produced through the interaction of three elements: the lungs, the vocal cords, and the vocal tract. A muscle called the diaphragm pushes air from the lungs through the trachea to the larynx. At the larynx, different amounts of air can be pushed through the vocal folds, causing variability in what we call phonation. Perhaps the most intricate part comes next: articulation. This production of spoken sounds is caused by a variety of interactions between the lips, jaw, tongue, and soft palate, in addition to others.

And finally, another cool portion was the section on musical notes. Given my extensive musical background, it was fascinating to see musical terms attributed to psychoacoustics. I have always thought of an octave as an eight-note interval on the piano keyboard, but here it is classified as a sound that is double the frequency of another sound. Despite these wide ranges in pitch, notes separated by an octave actually sound more similar than other pairs that are closer together! This odd similarity is described as tone chroma - the quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval. A simpler categorization is that of tone height, which basically matches up with a tone's level of pitch or frequency. Another fascinating concept was the relationship between music and mathematics. Whether a group of notes (chord) sounds pleasing to the ear or not basically depends on whether its mathematical ratios are simple (consonant chords) or not (dissonant chords).

The section I found least interesting was that of the McGurk effect, if only because we had already ruined the surprise in class last week. However, this concept is actually quite amazing, and I can see why people could spend their entire lives trying to get to the bottom of why perceived vowel shapes are so influential on what is heard by human listeners. I think the most important thing I learned is how valuable both the production and reception of language truly are for humans, and how many ways this progress can potentially fail or be derailed along the way. I would like to learn more about the McGurk effect and learning languages.

Terms: flap, word, vocal tract, larynx, diaphragm, phonation, articulation, psychoacoustic, octave, frequency, pitch, tone chroma, tone height, chord, consonant, dissonant, McGurk effect

Too bad it got ruined for you!!! Good post.

(1) I think it would be cool to see interviews in the form of spectrograms. When some people talk, their speech changes octaves when they are under stress. To see criminal interviews would be interesting to see to try to pinpoint when someone’s voice starts to give them away if they are under stress. (2) The McGurk Effect because we already watched a video about it in class. Watching the video really put it into prospective and made the reading a lot easier. For me, the book didn’t really paint that clear of a picture of the McGurk Effect. (3) Also under ‘How Special is Speech?’, how animals can be taught to tell the difference between the sounds of letters that can sound like each other. I have heard of a study like this before on the radio. From what I remember: dogs are more able to tell when their master is upset or stress that any other pet. Apparently, dogs are more prone to picking up on signals from facial expression and speech. Being the owner of cats, I can completely back this up. I love my cats but they tend to be very independent while dogs tend to be more pack animals. I guess this ability would come in really handy when out in the wild. Other animals may use this to tack down their pray. Being able to tell the difference in sounds could be the difference between attacking a sick animals and attacking a healthy one that will attack back. (4) Under ‘Learning to Listen’, the book mentions some studies about newborns and infants. I just found it interesting that something that sleeps most of the day will still have preferences so early in life.

The section on musical notes, I already knew about pitch, octave, chords, melody and tempo. I took two years of music back in grade school and didn’t do very well. I had trouble connecting the notes on the page to the cords that needed to be played. I did better when I just copied a pitch I heard.

What I found most useful in understanding Sensation and Perception would have to be going back to the third thing I found interesting. Humans are not the only ones that rely on their hearing and some animals are especially equip to rely on their hearing for their survival. This can in some ways be linked to how humans hear.

I would like to know if there are most studies about using hearing for survival/when we really rely on it. I would also like to know if there are more effects like the McGurk Effect.

Terms: spectrogram, octaves, McGurk Effect, speech, pitch, chords, melody, tempo, and notes.

Good thought. Do they do this already with the spectrograms? Probably not, but it might be an avenue of research worth pursuing. Might be cool to see what the different patterns during truth and lies look like.

Three things I enjoyed after reading chapter 11 was articulation, speech in the brain and the general concept of making music. The first item I was interested in was that notes or chords can form a melody which is a sequence of sounds perceived as a coherent structure. Melodies also result in a note change throughout the piece. The average duration of a set of notes in a melody defines the music’s tempo. A melody can be played either slow or fast tempo however if the notes are be played with different notes and durations, we will be able to hear the note change. The second item I was interested in was articulation, that is the act or manner of producing a speech sound using the vocal tract. Humans have the ability to change the shape of the vocal tract by manipulating the jaw, lips, tongue body, tongue tip, velum and the other vocal-tract structures. When these changes take place, articulation occurs which results in words coming out very sharply and clear. The third item I found interesting when learning was the concept that speech sounds are processed in both hemispheres of the brain much like other complex sounds, until they become part of the linguistic message. Then, speech is further processed in anterior and ventral regions, most in the left superior temporal cortex. I found all of this information very fascinating to me because I had the worst speech impediment when I was younger. I spent over 6 years in speech therapy so being able to read about it in a textbooks makes me understand what my brain and body were perceiving when I was younger. I thought that coarticulation and lack of invariance is something that would be very useful in understanding sensation and perception. Coarticulation is the phenomenon in speech whereby attributes of successive speech units overlap in articulatory or acoustic patterns. Another thing I believe is important in understanding is speech sounds and perception. Two subjects that I would like to learn more about is music in general, any fascinating tips the book did not mention about how we perceive music. Another thing I would like to learn more about is learning words. I understand that infants learn words from the continuous streams of speech that they encounter in their environment; however I would like to learn more!

Terms: articulation, speech in the brain, notes, chords, melody, coherent structure, tempo, velum, linguistic, anterior region, central region, left superior temporal cortex, coarticulation, lack of invariance.

Good post, you got pretty detailed with it!


What was most interesting to me was the section on learning to listen. In this section it stressed the differences in how those from different cultures listen or perceive speech. The interesting thing about this is that it begins very early in life. Prenatally late term fetuses are able to tell the differences in different vowel sounds. Also early in life babies began prefer hearing the language that their family speaks over other languages. To go along with all this at about 6 months old babies were already more apt to notice differences in their native language as opposed to a different language.
Coarticulation was also of some interest to me. What this term means is that speech units are overlapped in acoustic patterns. This concept is so important to speech because it makes it possible to speak at a faster rate. Since we speak at such at fast rate the articulators do not get all the way into position. With experience one begins to anticipate this. I think that this is a miraculous thing that our bodies are able to do. If this were not possible then we would be forced to communicate at a much slower rate.
Although I am not too musically inclined I did find section on rhythm to be interesting. What I found interesting about this section was when it discussed to rhythms being played together. It was called syncopation. In this one rhythm becomes dominant while the other rhythm is adjusted in a way so that it fits with the dominant one. I think that this is really cool. I also think it is interesting that the book referred to rhythm as being highly psychological because we can perceive it even when it does not exist.
What I thought to be of little interest to me what the section on speech in the brain. It was uninteresting to me because I am not a big fan of discussing all of the different locations in the brain. This section talked about how it has been and issue for researchers to control stimuli that are complex like speech but have them not be heard as speech. They are trying to do this to learn more about exactly where speech is perceived. When I read this part I did however think about the listening we did during class where we were trying to figure out what word was being said over and over.
Understanding how individuals perceive speech and what musical tones are pleasing to them is probably the most important for understanding sensation and perception. I would first off say that understanding how speech is perceived is a very complex thing. It is so complex due to things like coarticulation which means that speech units overlap one another in acoustic patterns. Speech is however perceived categorically. We hear acoustic signals from speech and that is what causes us to hear particular sounds. When it comes to what is pleasing to the ear in music perception things seem to be a little less complicated. Musical pitch is important in understanding the perception of music. Music can greatly affect ones mood, and using it with words can impact the way individuals think of them.
The two concepts that I would like to learn more about are the cultural differences in musical notes and chords, and also more about how respiration, phonation, and articulation work together. I would like to learn more about the cultural differences because the book states that most of the research done is from a western perspective. I think that I would be interesting to find research about the topic from elsewhere. I am interested in learning more about respiration, phonation, and articulation solely because I believe that it is an interesting process by which speech is produced.


Key terms: coarticulation, phonation, articulation, pitch, rhythm

Good point on expanding the research to other cultures. Likely some big and important differences going on there.

Three things I found interesting from this chapter was first the section over pitch, octave, tone height and tone chroma. Pitch according to the text is the psychological aspect of sound related mainly to the fundamental frequency. An octave is the interval between two sound frequencies with a ratio of 2 to 1. Tone height is the sound quality paired with level of pitch, and tone chroma is a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval. I found these components interesting, because I am a huge fan of music, but I don’t know the first thing behind the science of it. I am just amazed with how many different components of music there really are, and how important they are. The second thing that stuck out to me was the section about coarticulation. Coarticulation is the phenomenon in speech where attributes of successive speech units overlap in articulatory or acoustic patterns. I found this interesting because I never heard of this phenomenon before. Reading this section made me realize that music is so complex and composed of many different aspect all placed together and you get music. I may be easily impressed but reading the chapter made me see why I never did anything music related, because it is so complex that I would never be able to fully understand all of the components. Lastly I found learning the difference between tempo and rhythm was. As a person that really didn’t know any of the components of music and just heard the terms being said without knowing what it meant I find a lot of these simple things interesting. Tempo is the perceived speed of the presentation of sounds, while rhythm is a pattern of sounds in the music. I knew what they were, but I think knowing these terms, and what the difference between the two is very important in understanding the foundation of music.

Being a fan of music I cant say there was anything I disliked about this chapter, because I found it to be very interesting and wanted to learn about it a little bit more. The thing I read in this chapter that I think will be most useful in understanding sensation and perception is the sections about musical notes along with tone. I found this to be the basis of the entire chapter and is the roots in understanding the various components of music.

Two topic I would like to know more about- The McGurk effect, and coarticulation.

Terms- Octave, tone height, tone chroma, pitch, fundamental frequency, sound frequency, coarticulation, tempo, rhythm, and the McGurk effect.

Did you guys talk more about McGurk? Pretty interesting situation where the speech and visual information gets crossed and misinterpreted as a totally different syllable sound.

The three things that I found interesting from Chapter 11 is tone height and tone chroma, articulation, and learning words. Musical pitch is one characteristic of musical notes, the sound that comprise melodies. A very important aspect in understanding musical pitch is the term octave. An octave is the interval between two sound frequencies having a ratio of 2 to 1. Musical pitch is typically described as having two dimensions. The first is tone height, which relates to frequency, a sound quality corresponding to the level of pitch. Tone height is monotonically related to frequency. The second dimension is tone chroma. Frequency and tone height increase with increasingly height on the helix. Tone chroma can be described as a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave interval.

Articulation is the act or manner of producing speech sound using the vocal tract. Humans have an ability to change the shape of the vocal tract by manipulating the jaw, lips, tongue body, tongue tip, soft palate, and other vocal tract structures. These effects are called resonance characteristics and the spectra of speech sounds are shaped by the way people configure their tracts as resonators. Peaks in the speech spectrum are referred to as formants. Formants are a resonance of the vocal tract. Formants are specified by heir center frequency and are denoted by integers that increase with relative frequency. One of the most distinctive characteristics of speech sounds is that their spectra change over time. Spectrogram is a patter for sound analysis that provides are three dimensional display plotting time on the horizontal axis, frequency on the vertical axis, and intensity on a color a gray scale.

The whole point of producing and perceiving these speech sounds is to put them together so that we can form words which are units of language that convey meaning. The obvious idea with learning words is the cultural boundaries that we experience. We know the word “dog”, whereas someone in Spain trying to learn the word about a furry friend would not say “dog” but “perro”. When we hear someone talk in our native language we are able to pick out certain entities. But when we hear someone speak in a different language, it is quite confusing to us. It may also seem that people in different cultures talk much faster than we are able to comprehend.
The only thing I really didn’t understand about the chapter is the graphs of frequency and time with the words on top of them. I just felt like they were confusing and did not provide a good helping hand with the chapter. Something that I think is key in knowing when understanding more about sensation and perception is knowing how speech in the brain works. By knowing how speech is processed in the brain and if there is something damaged, how the person can be affected.

TERMS: tone height, tone chroma, articulation, octave, musical pitch, frequency, formants, spectrogram,

There are a lot of different deficits that can occur with speech and language and even music perception depending on which area in the brain gets damaged. You might check out a few of them by browsing a book on cognitive neuroscience or cognitive neuropsychology. Pretty interesting and extremely useful in our attempts to reverse engineer function from structural deficits based on what functions are compromised after a certain area gets damaged.

There were some interesting pieces of information on the section of speech. Some of those included various facts that I had never heard before. As humans we are capable of producing between 800 and 900 different speech sounds. This is an incredibly large number that shows how wide of a range we are able to use. The most interesting point from the chapter was the disadvantages of humans having a low larynx. The larynx is also known as our “voice box” that performs the function of allowing air into the lungs. After infancy we are not able to simultaneously breathe and swallow. Also, because the larynx is lower than any other animal, choking becomes more greatly prevalent. The airway above our larynx which is critical for speech is known as our vocal tract. This involves two tracts known as the nasal and oral tract. Three key components of speech in humans include the lungs, vocal cords, and the vocal tract. Another intriguing piece of information was under the paragraph “how special is speech?” This particular section emphasized the idea of the motor theory and something we learned during class known as the McGurk effect. With the McGurk effect we learned the difficulty of distinguishing the syllables gah, dah, and bah. This more closely relates to the mind being tricked. The McGurk effect is a fascinating study where people were constantly misinterpreting these syllables which show the problems of speech perception in many instances. Another important part I was able to take away from the chapter was through music. One key characteristic is melody, which is a factor in making music. Melodies are perceived successions of chords. In order to accurately understand melody we must think of its contours as well, or the rise and decline of pitch. Melodies can be in high and low pitches. Tempo is also important because it involves the speed in which a melody can be played. I found that speech in the brain was the least interesting thing to read about. It is obviously important to understand which parts of the brain are responsible for our allowance of sound, but the information on the topic was a little dry. I felt I was able to learn and understand more concepts and terms outside of this paragraph. I believe melody, tempo, and rhythm are three extremely important terms to learn that will increase my knowledge and understanding on how to relate to sensation and perception as a whole. Music is such an important aspect in society today that taking away pieces of information on how we hear and come to relate to music will greatly benefit me. Furthermore, I believe listening and learning to listen is also another important part of the chapter that is beneficial in my understanding of sensation and perception. Sometimes listening and identifying words is tough to do, especially with language barriers and the idea of accents present a greater challenge in what we hear. Two things that I would like to further look up and learn more about are the McGurk effect, since this is one topic that greatly interests me and there are videos out there that give a visual sense of how our brains are tricked. I would also like to learn more about cultural differences in speech perception. Learning new languages and trying to understand people with foreign accents has always interested me because of the difficulties it presents. There are so many different languages in the world today. For myself it is something I want to learn more about because there are so many different experiences when it comes to listening. This can be present in both the way people talk and learn in their own culture, as well as through the use of music that is culturally different.
Terms: larynx, vocal tract, McGurk effect, melody, contour, tempo.

Tells you yet another way that the brain sort of lies to you about what you think you are perceiving! Good post.

Overall, I didn't find this chapter as interesting to read as I did other chapters. I did find the section on cultural differences interesting. This section mentioned that different notes are used in other cultures. Some cultures use more notes and others less between each octave. This allows for either less or greater levels of acceptable frequencies when making music pleasurable. Babies adapt to their level of acceptability according to their culture. Babies are able equally good at decifering mistakes in different cultures. It is not until later in life that people lose this ability. I thought that this was interesting because it shows that people from different cultures might have "finer tuned ears" than people from other cultures. It also shows how different cultures have their own cultural identities even when it comes to musical scales.

I also found the section on the musical note interesting because I had never seen a picture of tone height displayed as a helix. I thought this was a more effective way of demonstrating the idea than the typical scales. Pitch is what we perceive the frequency at witch we hear a sound. If you double the frequency of a musical note, it will be one octave higher than the origional. These two notes will sound similar but will have different frequencies. This is what tone height is. Another aspect of describing pitch is called tone chroma. Tone chroma is that if you add the frequency or subtract the frequency of a note to itself, the new musical note will be the same note just in a different octave. Tone height and tone chroma are the two characteristics that make up pitch.

I also found it interesting on how speech is produced using the vocal tract. Air is pushed up from the lungs through the trachea to the larynx. Here the air passes through 2 vocal cords which vibrate and regulate how much air moves through them . Men typically have deeper voices because the testosterone makes the the vocal cords heavier. Thus, the frequency at which the vocal cords vibrate is slower. The vocal cords act much like a guitar string. We are also able to move our mouths and increase our articulation.

I did not find the sections on melody and tempo interesting. These are characteristics of music that have been taught to use since grade school and I personally knew these qualities of music before reading the chapter.

I would like to know more about coarticulation. I would like to know more about this because the text was saying how researchers are having problems understanding this, and I would like to know if any new information has come out since the book was published.

Terms: notes, octave, frequency, tone height, pitch, tone chroma, melody, tempo, vocal tract, articulation

Maybe you chose to look up more on the newest research for your topical? Interesting stuff, a little bit difficult to digest sometimes.

One part of this chapter that sparked an interest in thinking for me was the section about music. Throughout this section, you get a definitive idea that music is deeply intertwined into human psychology. What was particularly interesting for me was that human culture created music; or to the degree of making music that we have today. One question that lingered in my mind throughout this reading was: How can music be this deeply intertwined into our brain when music has just recently been invented (in relative terms to evolution). No one truly knows this answer yet, but an interesting theory would be the integration of ‘dead genes’. I won’t go into great detail about dead genes, but basically dead genes are specific genes that have been useful in our evolutionary past, but have become dormant due to miscellaneous mutations and the lack of use. One particular dead gene that could be a factor is this is birds’ perception of song. Throughout animals’ evolutionary history, only birds have such a strong relationship to song; being their main way of communication. There is a possibility that we have integrated dead genes from our genetic chronology that were once a dominant player in birds’ perception of sound. However, this is just rambling because they are only assumptions.

Another aspect of this chapter that I thoroughly liked was the perception of speech. If you hear a sentence being told, and it is told clearly, you can definitely understand what is being said; you can determine the spaces between words and you don’t accidently mash words together. However, if you record the sentence and see the sentence’s characteristics concerning frequency, amplitude, and spaces between words, you wouldn’t be able to physically see where one words stops and another begins. To me, this was very strange.

All in all, I really liked the section about the perception of speech. Out of all the perceptual experiences (so far), speech is the only one that isn’t straight forward. It has been a main reason why humans are so dominant in the present world, but speech is such a strange concept that it seems almost predictable that the perception of speech isn’t straightforward.

Terms: psychology of music, evolution of the perception of music, perception of speech

Great question about the music and evolution stuff. We do know that species have used songs/vocal tactics to attract mates for quite some time. So that would be Darwin's perspective. You might also look at some stuff by Steven Pinker about the function of music based on its function in relation to our survival.

Chapter 11 talks about the relationship between music and speech perception. Sounds from musical instruments and human vocal tracts obey the same laws of physical acoustics as all other sounds. Spoken words and musical notes are simply complex sounds. Music and speech are created with perceivers in mind. Music and speech both serve to communicate, and both can convey emotion and deeper meanings. The job of a song for example is to move the listener. To me this chapter was a very informational one. This chapter made me realize how important music is to culture and personal culture identity. Listening to music can effect peoples moods and emotions, this is so true.

Because of this, some psychologist use musical therapy on people, which I found to be very interesting. I thought the section in the book that talked about how when people listen to music that they do not like their saritonin rises and effects the way they feel was very interesting. Music and the way it is learned is very similar to speech and the way it is learned.

Next, I want to talk about speech. The book points out that fact that most people who listen to speech also produce speech. It is important to know both speech production and speech perception. Humans are capable of making many different sounds just as musicians can make many different sounds. Where sounds are made are in the vocal tract. This is the airway above the larynx used for production of speech. This includes the oral tract and nasal tract.

Next, the book talks about the production of speech. The production of speech has three basic components: Respiration (lungs), phonation (vocal cords), and articulation (vocal tract). The rate at which vocal folds vibrate depends on their stiffness and mass.

The book uses the analogy of guitar strings. When you tune guitar strings the more tension (tighter) the stiffer it will be. This will increase the vibration which create a sound with a higher pitch. The sounds of guitar strings also have depend on the thickness and mass. This ties back to speech in that children with smaller vocal cords have high voices. Thinner guitar strings make high pitch sounds. The reaons men have deeper voices than women is because mens vocal cords are thicker than womans vocal cords.

Articualton is the act or manner of producing a speech using the vocal tract. The spectrum of sound coming from the vocal folds is a harmonic spectrum. I found the spectrogram to be very interesting. The spectrogram is a pattern for sound analysis to provide a three-dimensional display plotting time on the horizontal axis, frequency on the vertical axis, and intensity on a color or gray scale.

Next, the chapter talks about speech perception. When talking about speech perception you must talk about coarticulation. Coarticulation is the phenomenon in speech whereby attributes of successive speech units overlap in articulatory or acoustic patterns. Listeners discriminate speech sounds only as well as they can label them. One of they way infants learn words is to use their experience with the coourrence of speech sounds.

Terms: cord, vocal tract, articulation, spectrogram, pitch, speech, speech production, speech perception, coarticulation

Ok, good post.

Firstly, I found pitch and octave very interesting. I have been hearing these words ever since I was born, being around a musical family and playing musical instruments myself. It was very interesting to see how they described an octave as being two sound frequencies with a ratio of 2:1. To me, an octave was just an octave. Two of the same notes, just in two different scales, one higher pitched than the other. I for instance check octave notes to make sure what I am playing is in tune. In more S and P terms, I am checking the frequencies, or tone chroma. Tone chroma is the sound quality shared with two tones of the same octave interval. Also, related to octaves and a tone chroma, the tone height is when sound quality relates to the level of pitch. Also something I play on a daily basis are chords, which are just when I play 3 or more notes at one time. Listening to them all at the same time creates a beautiful, or not so beautiful tone. Timbre also helps us distinguish between the three notes different frequencies.
I also loved reading about melodies and tempos and syncopation. Bolton's studies on melodies and rhythm are quite interesting. The fact that humans are predisposed to grouping sounds into rhythmic patterns is awesome! Our ear likes to hear things in that sound organized, isn't that fascinating? Listening to different kinds of music really tests this idea. I have played and listened to some pretty funky stuff, and it is obvious what my ear likes to hear and what it doesn't. Sometimes with syncopation, my ear needs to "bend" a little to understand it, depending on the complexity of it. Playing syncopations sometimes is really difficult, but that is using a more of your senses than just your ears, obviously.
Lastly, I found most interesting was the section how infants learn words. I have always wondered this. First it talked about other languages and how we do not make sense of them and it seems like they are just blabbering on and on really fast. This is what infants hear! The words seem to run into each other because of coarticulation. When infants learn words, they actually pick out words that they hear a lot. This is why infants tent to say the most common words they hear first. Like "daddy" or "mommy" or "no". They start to hear them in context and relate the word to what it means. They do this with every word until they learn english!
I did not find much about the speech very interesting. I did not care much about articulation. It seems like common sense made hard.
I also didn't really care for the speech in the brain section. It is obviously very important, but I just wasn't very interested in it.
One thing I think is important in understanding sensation and perception is all of the things about music. I think everyone should be educated on music, because it will become easier to appreciate it! Music has so much to offer.
One topic I would like to research further would be music and infants. It doesn't talk about it in the book, but I would really like to see how infants portray music and tones and rhythm!
Another topic I would like to research would be more about infants and learning language. I want to know if it is different for grown ups to learn a language. If it is harder than an infant or easier.
Terms: pitch, octave, tone height, tone chroma, chord, frequency, rhythm, melody, tempo, syncopation.

Its kind of interesting. Kids respond to music. I don't know if its just the cuing from other people, or if the rhythm really does get them going. Its funny to watch, because a song will come on and babies will start squirming or dancing around (if they're old enough). Pretty funny.

(1) Kinesthesis, because it rolled a lot of sensations into one. It is how the brain perceives the position of the limb. This only interests me because on an episode of House, someone had lost an arm yet they claimed to still be able to feel it gripping a grenade (how they lost their arm in the first place). I will probably do my Thursday Blog on phantom limbs since it really caught my attention. And so I can see how accurate Dr. House’s method of correcting the problem was accurate and realistic. (2) Somatosensory maps because I remember it from Intro to Psychology and thought it was really attention-grabbing how some parts of the body were mapped out as being really small and others as really big. Lips and fingers are really large because they are very sensitive while things like head and body are much smaller because they are less sensitive. The bigger the parts the more sensitive they are to stimuli. One thing that made sense after seeing this was how much we rely on our lips to take in information. It was back in high school and my class was looking at the big question of nature vs nurture. One story we looked at centered on a girl who was basically held captive in her own room. The story was really graphic and sad because this girl was physically restrained or kept in a dog canal 24 hours a day. The doctors who took care of her after her discovery found that when she was examining something, she would bring it to her face and rub it against her lips. Since her hands were restrained for a majority of the time she was awake, she relied on something other than her hands while still using something that was just as sensitive. A really sad story since she never truly recovered from her early childhood abuse. (3) Tactile agnosia. It was always funny to watch other people try to guess what they had been handed. Even if it was something harmless, they won’t know that because they couldn’t rule out the possibility of it being something that wouldn’t gross them out or bite them. Fear Factor and other prank shows used this a lot to get big reactions out of people.

In general just the biology part, just something I never found attention grabbing enough to really want to know more.

I would have to say that the section on pain was useful in understanding Sensation and Perception. People experience pain all the time, but there are different forms of pain and how that pain is taken into and processed in the brain.

I would have to say thermoreceptors. Why is it that the cold fibers have more of a bell cure while the warmth fibers have more of a positively skewed shape? Is this because of evolution?

Terms: Kinesthesis, phantom limb, somatosensory maps, tactile agnosia, pain, termoreceptors, cold fibers, and warmth fibers.

Check out some more info on Ramachandran's work on phantom limb pain. there are plenty of cases about this stuff, especially given the prevalence of war-related injuries in which people are missing limbs and other parts of their body from some kind of injury.

Chapter 11- Sound




1. Before reading this chapter I have always had questions on why I only like certain types of music because of the sound, and why I find certain sounds aversive. When I learned about the pressure changes in tones it made me wonder if that is why I feel like some music is better than others. Pure tone occurs when pressure changes in the air and is i a pattern. This occurs when a person is whistling or high pitched notes in an instrument. The amplitude and frequency also may play a part in music that the number of times per second that the pressure changes repeat. These all work together to create sine wave sounds.




2. Loudness of sounds have always interested me because I notice I turn up music but when I am listening to people or t.v. I want to sound to be quiet. The loudness of something has to do with the amplitude or sound pressure and the level of an auditory stimulus. Loudness can be intense and is psychological. The decibels of loudness is the physical measure of loudness. What one person thinks is loud may not be considered loud to another person. Some people have poor hearing that leads to using something to amplify sound.



3. The third topic I found interesting is the technology in todays society that is able to be used to hear sound for those who have lost their hearing. Now their are cochlear implants that stimulates auditory nerve fibers directly that has a microphone, sound processor, transmits codes, and receives signals.



One thing I found useful is learning about the inner, middle, and outside of the ear. It was interesting to learn about the vibrations in the cochlea, and how the visual part of the brain works together with the auditory part of the brain. 


One thing I did not find so interesting is understanding the different parts that make the process of hearing possible. I understood the demonstrations that were provided in the book, but it was completely hard to read and understand the context of the process. If I am able to look at a video or physically see the process in front of me on a screen or using props, I would learn the process much better.



The two topics I would like to learn more about sound is hearing loss disorders and music sounds put together that sound good to someone and why some music sounds bad and doesn’t fit well.

vocab-inner, middle, outside ear, cochlea, loudness, frequency, amplitude, pure tones

Chapter 11 in my book is entitled Music and Speech Perception. I was in both music and speech in high school so I thought this topic would be one that I love the most!

I have to be honest, I found the section in the chapter about music notes to be the most interesting, but I understand most of it! I liked being able to relate this to perception. I liked relating octaves and pitch to perception. The book made the definition of an octave very difficult to understand by saying that it is a ratio between two sound frequencies. I think I only found this confusing because I learned about an octave as two of the same note names at different pitches on a scale. I thought that relating the psychological perspective to the perspective I know helped me to understand frequencies a little better because I could use the example of music!

I liked also relating perception to chords and tempos and how you are able to make a melody out of these. I like how they mentioned that chords are just mixing different frequencies to make a different sound. I also like how the book mentioned that different cultures percieve different chords to be more pleasing than others. That was interesting because I know when bad chords are played but to know someone out there prefers that sound is so odd. I thought it was also interesting that anyone can come up with a tempo by the way they perceive the music should be played. This will make a completely different song each time.

I liked learning about the vocal tract and articulation. I have heard of both in speech and drama, but the way they were described in the book was way different than what I learned in high school. The vocal tract is simply the area in the body used for vocal speech. Articulation, however was described as when you can change the shape of the vocal tract by opening your mouth more. In speech, we were always told to manipulate our tongue to speak more clearly. It's cool that articulation in a psychological sense is different than that of what we learned in high school.

I really don't think this chapter will apply to sensation and perception as much as the other chapters. Music and Speech aren't really related as well as your thinking when it comes to sensation and perception.

I wasn't very interested in the rest of this chapter when it talked about sound. I just couldn't get myself to care about what I was learning about. I usually enjoy learning when there are lots of charts to help me, but I didn't fully understand speech perception.

Pitch, Octave, Melody, Chord, Tempo, Vocal Tract, Articulation

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

temp
Topical Blog Week #14 (Due Thursday)
What I would like you to do is to choose any topic related to any aspect of Sensation &…
Reading Activity Week #14 (Due Monday)
Please look through the remaining chapters in the book. Pick one of those remaining chapters and read it. After reading…