Audition: Cognitive Influences

Audition is the ability to sense and perceive sound. Audition relies on bottom-up sensory mechanisms, which govern how the sound is changed from physical energy in the environment to electrical impulses used by the brain, and top-down cognitive perceptual mechanisms, which govern how we identify and interpret sounds. The ability to transduce sound is only one small part of audition because the cognitive abilities we bring to bear when listening are also important for auditory perception. For example, imagine that you are walking down a dark street at night and you hear the sound of a dog barking. A wealth of auditory information is available in the signal that will tell you about the dog and determine how you will react to it. Bottom-up processes ...

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