Illusory continuity without sufficient sound energy to fill a temporal gap: Examples of crossing glide tones

Tsuyoshi Kuroda, Yoshitaka Nakajima, Shuntarou Eguchi

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The gap transfer illusion is an auditory illusion where a temporal gap inserted in a longer glide tone is perceived as if it were in a crossing shorter glide tone. Psychophysical and phenomenological experiments were conducted to examine the effects of sound-pressure-level (SPL) differences between crossing glides on the occurrence of the gap transfer illusion. We found that the subjective continuity-discontinuity of the crossing glides changed as a function of the relative level of the shorter glide to the level of the longer glide. When the relative level was approximately between -9 and +2 dB, listeners perceived the longer glide as continuous and the shorter glide as discontinuous, that is, the gap transfer illusion took place. The glides were perceived veridically below this range, that is, gap transfer did not take place, whereas above this range the longer glide and the shorter glide were both perceived as continuous. The fact that the longer glide could be perceived as continuous even when the crossing shorter glide was 9 dB weaker indicates that the longer glide's subjective continuity cannot be explained within the conventional framework of auditory organization, which assumes reallocation of sound energy from the shorter to the longer glide. The implicated mechanisms are discussed in terms of the temporal configuration of onsets and terminations and the time-frequency distribution of sound energy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1254-1267
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Behavioral Neuroscience


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