An illusory reconstruction of auditory elements

Takayuki Sasaki, Yoshitaka Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A new pattern of auditory illusion was invented, proving that the perceptual system reconstructs auditory elements, such as onsets, terminations, and pitches. A typical stimulus pattern comprised three harmonic components (fundamental, second, and third), changing their frequencies in the same rate in the same direction. The duration of the lowest component was 1800 ms. The second/third component occupied the first 1000 ms and the third/second component occupied the last 1000 ms, thus making an overlap of 200 ms in the middle. Eight subjects listened to the stimulus patterns and expressed their percepts by drawing and aural reports. The general tendency was that they perceived one continuously ascending or descending tone and a short independent tone with a clear pitch in the middle. Since there was no actual short tone in the middle, it can be concluded that an illusory tone was created perceptually by connecting an onset of one component with a termination of another component. Absolute pitch judgments of the middle tone by absolute pitch possessors showed no consistent tendency. Connection between an onset/termination and its pitch does not seem strong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2751
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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