On the perceived unitization of repetitive auditory patterns

Fred L. Royer, Donald A. Robin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


When a cyclic pattern of sound bursts occurs, a rhythmic pattern will be heard at certain rates of presentation. When rate is increased sufficiently, the pattern is heard as a repeating unit-a repeating packet of sound bursts consisting of the whole cycle. The temporal parameters of the process of unitization that produces the perceptual phenomenon were examined. Critical burst duration for fixed interburst intervals and critical interval for fixed burst durations were obtained. An inverse linear relationship between duration and interval was found. The sum of duration and interval yielded a constant that increased as the number of elements in the pattern increased. The results are interpreted as supporting a lowpass filter model of temporal pattern organization in the auditory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)


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