Sounds such as those produced by musical instruments or natural events exhibit rapid temporal changes in amplitude. These changes afford an understanding of the materials and movements involved in sound producing events. Our research actively explores the importance of this property to a variety of perceptual processes – including many novel tasks not previously thought to be affected by this cue.
In recognition of this issues’ importance, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada awarded Dr. Schutz a 5 year Discovery Grant to support this research. Although unusual for researchers in the Faculty of Humanities Faculty to receive NSERC funding, this award illustrates the scientific importance of using musical sounds to inform our understanding of listening. This research will inform neuroscientists interested in the biological basis of auditory perception as well as composers curious about our responses to different types of sounds. Additionally, this work holds implications for the health care, where medical professionals use auditory alarms to monitor patient health and well being. We are excited about the range future discoveries that will be possible as a result of this support, and appreciate this support for our work. Read the Daily news story here.