ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

4pMU8. Pitch and timbre influences on the short-term memory for timbre.

Gary E. Starr

Dept. of Psychol., Ohio State Univ., 142 Townshend Hall, 1885 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210

Memory for pitch is susceptible to same-dimension interference as a function of pitch distance, while remaining relatively free from cross-dimensional (e.g., timbre) interference [C. Semal and L. Demany, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 89, 2404--2410 (1991)]. This study investigated whether analogous effects occur in memory for timbre. Subjects discriminated the timbre of a standard and a comparison tone. The tones were separated by a 5-s retention interval that was filled with silence or a six-tone sequence that jdiffered from the standard in pitch, timbre, or both. There were two levels of each variable, perceptually close or far to the standard. Results indicated that timbre is qualitatively different from pitch, since any sequence, independent of same-dimension similarity, produced interference.