Christopher J. Plack

in Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: Hearing

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233557
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience



This article deals with the perception of sound; that is, how humans and other animals experience the auditory world. It is important to study perception of sound since physiological mechanisms need to be understood in terms of the perceptual functions that they perform. Auditory psychophysics, or psychoacoustics, is the study of the relations between the physical characteristics of sounds and the evoked sensations. The boundaries between psychoacoustics and physiology are blurred by the use of human brain imaging techniques in combination with behavioural measures. These techniques include electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Finally, this article states that while considering human hearing it is important to encode and analyse the different physical characteristics of sounds, separate the acoustic information from different sources, and identify and extract meaning from the sounds produced by a particular source.

Keywords: perception; sound; auditory psychophysics; psychoacoustics; brain imaging

Article.  1668 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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