Dynamic frequency change influences loudness perception: A central, analytic process

John G. Neuhoff, Michael K. McBeath, Walter C. Wanzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Three experiments showed that dynamic frequency change influenced loudness. Listeners heard tones that had concurrent frequency and intensity change and tracked loudness while ignoring pitch. Dynamic frequency change significantly influenced loudness. A control experiment showed that the effect depended on dynamic change and was opposite that predicted by static equal loudness contours. In a 3rd experiment, listeners heard white noise intensity change in one ear and harmonic frequency change in the other and tracked the loudness of the noise while ignoring the harmonic tone. Findings suggest that the dynamic interaction of pitch and loudness occust centrally in the auditory system; is an analytic process; has evolved to take advantage of naturally occuring covariation of frequency and intensity; and reflects a shortcoming of traditional static models of loudness perception in a dynamic natural setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1059
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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