Department of Psychology
Magnitude estimation was used to assess the experience of urgency in pulse-train stimuli (pulsed white noise) ranging from 3.13 to 200 Hz. At low pulse rates, pulses were easily resolved. At high pulse rates, pulses fused together leading to a tonal sensation with a clear pitch level. Urgency ratings followed a nonmonotonic (polynomial) function with local maxima at 17.68 and 200 Hz. The same stimuli were also used in response time and pitch scaling experiments. Response times were negatively correlated with urgency ratings. Pitch scaling results indicated that urgency of pulse trains is mediated by the perceptual constructs of speed and pitch.
Russo, F.A. & Jones, J.A. (2007). The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 122, EL185. doi: 10.1121/1.2784112.