Where is the beat in that note? Effects of attack, duration, and frequency on the perceived timing of musical and quasi-musical sounds
Danielsen, A., Nymoen, K., Anderson, E., Câmara, G. S., Langerød, M. T., Thompson, M., & London, J. (2019). Where is the beat in that note? Effects of attack, duration, and frequency on the perceived timing of musical and quasi-musical sounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45 (3), 402-418. doi:10.1037/xhp0000611
© 2018, American Psychological Association.
The perceptual center (P-center) of a sound is typically understood as the specific moment at which it is perceived to occur. Using matched sets of real and artificial musical sounds as stimuli, we probed the influence of attack (rise time), duration, and frequency (center frequency) on perceived P-center location and P-center variability. Two different methods to determine the P-centers were used: Clicks aligned in-phase with the target sounds via the method of adjustment, and tapping in synchrony with the target sounds. Attack and duration were the primary cues for P-center location and P-center variability; P-center variability was found to be a useful measure of P-center shape. Consistent interactions between attack and duration were also found. Probability density distributions for each stimulus display a systematic pattern of P-center shapes ranging from narrow peaks close to the onset of sounds with fast attack and short duration, to wider and flatter shapes indicating a range synchronization points for sounds with slow attack and long duration. The results support the conception of P-centers as not simple time points, but “beat bins” with characteristic shapes, and the shapes and locations of these beat bins are dependent upon both the stimulus and the synchronization task. ...