Forming clusters of multiple sounds improves talker identification in an auditory scene

William A. Yost, M. Torben Pastore, Phillip Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In several recent papers we have shown that listeners perceive differences in the size of a small auditory scene (< 4 sources) for short-duration sounds (e.g., consonant-vowel, CV, pairs) presented at about the same time, but such differences are not perceived for larger scenes. Spatial separation of a small number of sound sources affects performance much more than spatially separating a larger number of sound sources. In this presentation, the number of sound sources is small, but not the number of sounds (CVs). For example, listeners are poor at determining if a target talker is the same as a cue talker, when the target is presented at one sound-source location and several distractor talkers are presented each at different sound-source locations. If all distractor talkers are “clustered (mixed)” at a single source spatially separated from the target sound source, then listeners are better at determining if the target talker was the same as the cue. Several additional scenarios were tested, all indicating that “clustering” sounds into a small number of sound sources improves target-talker identification compared to when sounds are presented from a larger number of sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number050007
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020
Event179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 7 2020Dec 11 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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