Auditory perceptual objects as generative models: Setting the stage for communication by sound

István Winkler, Erich Schröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Communication by sounds requires that the communication channels (i.e. speech/speakers and other sound sources) had been established. This allows to separate concurrently active sound sources, to track their identity, to assess the type of message arriving from them, and to decide whether and when to react (e.g., reply to the message). We propose that these functions rely on a common generative model of the auditory environment. This model predicts upcoming sounds on the basis of representations describing temporal/sequential regularities. Predictions help to identify the continuation of the previously discovered sound sources to detect the emergence of new sources as well as changes in the behavior of the known ones. It produces auditory event representations which provide a full sensory description of the sounds, including their relation to the auditory context and the current goals of the organism. Event representations can be consciously perceived and serve as objects in various cognitive operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalBrain and Language
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Audition
  • Auditory object
  • Auditory scene analysis
  • Cognition
  • Deviance (irregularity) detection
  • Prediction
  • Predictive modeling
  • Speech
  • Streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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