Effect of Flanking Sounds on the Auditory Continuity Illusion

Maori Kobayashi*, Makio Kashino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The auditory continuity illusion or the perceptual restoration of a target sound briefly interrupted by an extraneous sound has been shown to depend on masking. However, little is known about factors other than masking. Methodology/Principal Findings: We examined whether a sequence of flanking transient sounds affects the apparent continuity of a target tone alternated with a bandpass noise at regular intervals. The flanking sounds significantly increased the limit of perceiving apparent continuity in terms of the maximum target level at a fixed noise level, irrespective of the frequency separation between the target and flanking sounds: the flanking sounds enhanced the continuity illusion. This effect was dependent on the temporal relationship between the flanking sounds and noise bursts. Conclusions/Significance: The spectrotemporal characteristics of the enhancement effect suggest that a mechanism to compensate for exogenous attentional distraction may contribute to the continuity illusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51969
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 14
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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