By sylvie | July 25, 2006
A study that’s a bit far from my usual projects, but of interest to me for my pet project on bird songs (and should be of interest to you if you’re looking at using sound in your user interface): Categorization of sounds by Roel Smits, Joan Sereno and Allard Jongman, published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2006 volume 32, issue 3, pp. 733-754.
The authors conducted 4 experiments to test the decision-bound, prototype, and distribution theories for the categorization of sounds. They used as stimuli sounds varying in either resonance frequency or duration. They created different experimental conditions by varying the variance and overlap of 2 stimulus distributions used in a training phase and varying the size of the stimulus continuum used in the subsequent test phase. When resonance frequency was the stimulus dimension, the pattern of categorization-function slopes was in accordance with the decision-bound theory. When duration was the stimulus dimension, however, the slope pattern gave partial support for the decision-bound and distribution theories. The authors introduce a new categorization model combining aspects of decision-bound and distribution theories that gives a superior account of the slope patterns across the 2 stimulus dimensions.