On the perception of two successive sound bursts

Yoshitaka Nakajima, Shinsuke Shimojo, Yoichi Sugita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is concerned with both time perception and the methodology of perceptual psychology. The perception of the pattern of two successive sound bursts was studied by two different methods, i.e., magnitude estimation and phenomenal report. The temporal interval between the bursts was varied from 38 ms to 3394 ms. First, the observer estimated the duration or speed of each pair by a number without modulus. The estimations could not be fitted by a single power function across the entire range of intervals. That is, the exponent changed discontinuously. Next, the observer categorized freely the impressions of all the pairs. The quality of the phenomenon changed at the point where the exponent changed. All the observers arrived at the same three categories expressing the phenomena of the pairs. The boundaries between them corresponded approximately to the intervals of 150 ms and 2000 ms. The pairs in the middle category were often associated with body movements. The other categories also are of a unique nature. Finally, the possibility and the usefulness of employing psychophysical methods and phenomenological methods together is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1980
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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