Auditory Scene Analysis

The study of how we perceive and seperate sounds is known as Auditory Scene Analysis coined by Albert Bregman who had this analogy –

Your friend digs two narrow channels up from the side of a lake. Each is a few feet long and a few inches wide and they are spaced a few feet apart. Halfway up each one, your friend stretches a handkerchief and fastens it to
the sides of the channel. As the waves reach the side of the lake they travel up the channels and cause the two handkerchiefs to go into motion. You are allowed to look only at the handkerchiefs and from their motions to answer a
series of questions: How many boats are there on the lake and where are they? Which is the most powerful one? Which one is closer? Is the wind blowing? Has any large object been dropped suddenly into the lake?

It’s a fascinating subject!

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