Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Joel Snyder

Second Committee Member

Erin Hannon

Third Committee Member

Colleen Parks

Fourth Committee Member

Beiyu Lin


Theories of auditory and visual scene analysis suggest the perception of scenes relies on the identification and segregation of objects within it, resembling a detail-oriented processing style, but it is possible that a global-oriented process also occurs while evaluating auditory scenes. There is evidence for global properties that enable rapid recognition of visual scenes, even without recognizing the individual objects comprising the scene. It is our understanding that a similar line of research has not been explored in the auditory domain; therefore, we evaluated the contributions of high-level global and low-level acoustic information to auditory scene perception. A secondary aim is to increase the field’s ecological validity by utilizing our collection of high-quality auditory scenes. Participants rated scenes on 8 global properties (e.g., open vs. enclosed) and an acoustic analysis evaluated which low-level features predicted the ratings. We submitted the acoustic measures and average ratings of the global properties to separate exploratory factor analyses (EFAs). The EFA of the acoustic measures revealed a seven-factor structure explaining 57% of the variance in the data, while the EFA of the global property measures revealed a two-factor structure explaining 64% of the variance in the data. Regression analyses revealed each global property was predicted by at least one acoustic variable (R-squared = 0.33-0.87). These results provide evidence for the ability to perceive auditory scenes from a global perspective. Some of the acoustic measures predicted ratings of global scene perception, suggesting representations of auditory objects may be transformed through many stages of processing in the ventral auditory stream, similar to what has been proposed in the ventral visual stream. These findings and the open availability of our scene collection will make future studies on perception, attention, and memory for natural auditory scenes possible.


acoustic analysis; auditory scene perception; natural scenes


Cognitive Psychology | Medical Neurobiology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Neurosciences | Psychology

File Format


File Size

916 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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