The Effects of Visual Cues, Blindfold, Synesthetic Experience and Music Training on Pure-Tone Frequency Discrimination
Cho Kwan Tse, Calvin Kai-Ching Yu


How perceptual limits can be overcome has long been examined by psychologists. This study investigated whether visual cues, blindfolding, visual-auditory synesthetic experience and music training could facilitate a smaller frequency difference limen (FDL) in a gliding frequency discrimination test. It was hoped that the auditory limits could be overcome through visual facilitation, visual deprivation, involuntary cross-modal sensory experience or music practice. Ninety university students, with no visual or auditory impairment, were recruited for this one-between (blindfold/visual cue) and one-within (control/experimental session) designed study. A MATLAB program was prepared to test their FDL by an alternative forced-choice task (gliding upwards/gliding downwards/no change) and two questionnaires (Vividness of Mental Imagery Questionnaire & Projector-Associator Test) were used to assess their tendency to synesthesia. Participants with music training showed a significantly smaller FDL; on the other hand, being blindfolded, being provided with visual cues or having synesthetic experience before could not significantly reduce the FDL. However, the result showed a trend of reduced FDLs through blindfolding. This indicated that...Continue Reading

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