Material identification of real impact sounds: effects of size variation in steel, glass, wood, and plexiglass plates

Giordano, B.L. and McAdams, S. (2006) Material identification of real impact sounds: effects of size variation in steel, glass, wood, and plexiglass plates. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(2), pp. 1171-1181. (doi: 10.1121/1.2149839)

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Identification of the material of struck objects of variable size was investigated. Previous studies on this issue assumed recognition to be based on acoustical measures of damping. This assumption was tested, comparing the power of a damping measure in explaining identification data with that of several other acoustical descriptors. Listeners’ performance was perfect with respect to gross material categories (steel-glass and wood-plexiglass) comprising materials of vastly different mechanical properties. Impaired performance was observed for materials within the same gross category, identification being based on the size of the objects alone. The damping descriptor accounted for the identification of the gross categories. However other descriptors such as signal duration explained the results equally well. Materials within the same gross category were identified mainly on the basis of signal frequency. Overall poor support for the relevance of damping to material perception was found. An analysis of the acoustical support for perfect material identification was carried out. Sufficient acoustical information for perfect performance was found. Thus, procedural biases for the origin of the effects of size could be discarded, pointing toward their cognitive, rather than methodological nature. Identification performance was explained in terms of the regularities of the everyday acoustical environment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Giordano, Dr Bruno
Authors: Giordano, B.L., and McAdams, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Journal Abbr.:J. Acoust. Soc. Am.

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