The Doppler Illusion: The Influence of Dynamic Intensity Change on Perceived Pitch

John G. Neuhoff, Michael K. McBeath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four studies illustrate a new auditory illusion associated with the Doppler effect and demonstrate a new influence of dynamic intensity change on perceived pitch. Experiment 1 confirmed the existence of a popular belief that the pitch of a moving sound source rises as the source approaches. Because there is no corresponding rise in frequency, the authors refer to the perceived pitch rise as the Doppler illusion. Experiment 2 confirmed that the effect occurs perceptually, so the belief in a "naive principle" of physics has a perceptual basis. Experiment 3 confirmed the effect does not occur under matched static conditions. Experiment 4 showed that the influence of dynamic intensity change on perceived pitch occurs outside the realm of Doppler stimuli. The findings support a dynamic dimensional interaction of pitch and loudness, with marked differences in the perception of pitch and loudness under static and dynamic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-985
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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