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Learning & Perception
Authors: Tamás M. Bőhm, Lidia Shestopalova, Alexandra Bendixen, Andreas G. Andreou, Julius Georgiou, Guillame Garreau, Philippe Pouliquen, Andrew Cassidy, Susan L. Denham, and István Winkler

The human auditory system is capable of grouping sounds originating from different sound sources into coherent auditory streams, a process termed auditory stream segregation. Several cues can influence auditory stream segregation, but the full set of cues and the way in which they are integrated is still unknown. In the current study, we tested whether auditory motion can serve as a cue for segregating sequences of tones. Our hypothesis was that, following the principle of common fate, sounds emitted by sources moving together in space along similar trajectories will be more likely to be grouped into a single auditory stream, while sounds emitted by independently moving sources will more often be heard as two streams. Stimuli were derived from sound recordings in which the sound source motion was induced by walking humans. Although the results showed a clear effect of spatial separation, auditory motion had a negligible influence on stream segregation. Hence, auditory motion may not be used as a primitive cue in auditory stream segregation.

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