Perception Of Sound & Speech

Subject AUDI90017 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 28 hours lectures and practical classes.
Total Time Commitment: 50 hours.


Corequisites: Nil
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Prof Richard Dowell


Professor Richard Dowell
Subject Overview: This subject covers psychoacoustics, psychophysical measurement, acoustic phonetics, and their relation to audiological practice.

Objectives: This subject is designed to enable students to:
  • understand the relationship between the psychological percepts of loudness, pitch and timbre, and the physically measurable parameters of sound such as intensity (sound pressure level), fundamental frequency, frequency spectrum and duration;
  • understand the psychophysical concepts of threshold and difference limen;
  • understand the main psychoacoustical methods for determining the detection and discrimination ability of the auditory system;
  • understand the current physiological theories of pitch and loudness perception;
  • understand binaural processing of sounds in relation to localisation and masking effects;
  • understand the way in which speech sounds are produced in the vocal tract; the effect of the position of the articulators (tongue, lips, velum, etc.) on speech sounds and the acoustic principles underlying these effects;
  • understand the acoustic features of different speech sounds as they relate to their production and auditory discrimination;
  • understand the range of intensity, frequency and temporal components found in normal speech sounds and the effects of inter- and intra- speaker variations;
  • understand the effect of intensity, background noise and reverberation on speech perception;
  • understand the importance of language ability, semantic, syntactic and phonetic context in speech perception;
  • understand the effects of hearing loss on speech perception; the importance of lip-reading in speech perception.

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • well developed problem-solving abilities;
  • an ability to evaluate and synthesise information in a flexible manner
  • an ability to apply research findings to audiological practice;
  • a capacity to articulate the knowledge gained in both oral and written formats.
  • A short answer test after lecture 18 – 15%
  • Acoustic Phonetics Assignment of no more than 500 words due after Acoustic Phonetics Practicum - 15%
  • A two hour written examination at the end of the semester – 70%

Hurdle Requirement: Students must pass the written examination in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: Nil
Recommended Texts: Moore BCJ. (2003) An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing, 5th edition, Academic Press (out of print) is recommended reading.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject students should have:
• well developed problem solving skills
• an ability to evaluate and synthesise information in a flexible manner
• a capacity to articulate the knowledge gained in both oral and written formats

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Clinical Audiology

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