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Re: [AUDITORY] Neutral sound for a relaxation experiment

I've noticed cricket commentaries to be pretty low valence 😉

Seriously, I've even heard a composed 'ambient background' track that featured low-level cricket commentary - very soothing

Dr. Peter Lennox SFHEA

Senior Lecturer in Perception

College of Arts, Humanities and Education

School of Arts


e: p.lennox@xxxxxxxxxxx

t: 01332 593155





University of Derby,
Kedleston Road,
DE22 1GB, UK

From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> on behalf of ginacollecchia <maximumrandb503@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 20 September 2017 05:54:20
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Neutral sound for a relaxation experiment
I would also stray from anything algorithmically generated that is intended to be low-valence. You run too much risk of the brain identifying or trying to identify the patterns. That could result in a pretty emotional response to the discovery (or suspicion) that the sounds might not be authentic. (Lots of thoughts of the “uncanny valley of sound” now, hmm.)

In spite of that statement, I would choose low-passed, algorithmically generated white noise, e.g. pink noise, at a low volume—the sorts of sounds white noise machines and other sounds intended to silence the mind for sleep. You could use a recording instead, but make sure it doesn’t have to loop, as I’ve found that distracting.

Hope that helps.

Gina Collecchia

On Sep 19, 2017, at 9:28 PM, Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Having recorded ocean waves since the mid-1970s, I would suggest a good recording of ocean waves rather than an algorithmic version of AM white noise, as I have found that real [acoustical] ocean waves are among the most complex ‘simple sounds’ in nature. There are usually multiple asynchronous cycles, and there is, IME, never one simple wave. Each wave is a continuously evolving noise complex with lots of variables. These include spectral changes resembling band reject filters, phase shifters and transient resonances.

The wave breaking on the beach adds two more basic elements, one the wave collapsing onto the beach itself, and the other the ‘sucking back’ that occurs as the water recedes and stones and particles tumble back into the ocean. This is added to by the number of waves which can be heard from any one place.

For some people I have met, the sound of moving water installs fear. I would suggest the sound of a gentle wind in tall pine trees.


On 2017, Sep 19, at 8:11 AM, Bob Masta <audio@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

How about "surf" sound, such as white noise with a slow
AM modulation?  Easy to generate "live", and can run for
as long as you want.  More soothing than continuous
white, pink, or "colored" noise.

If you don't already have a suitable system, the signal
Generator in my Daqarta for Windows software can do
this with any Windows sound card.  Let me know if you
are interested, and I can get you started with a Generator
setup which you can easily modify to change AM depth or
rate, etc.   

Since it only uses the Generator, it's free!  (Keeps working
even after the trial period expires.)

Best regards,

Bob Masta


On 19 Sep 2017 at 11:05, Aurore Hakoun wrote:

Dear list,

One of my colleagues is conducting a study about the comparison of EEG activity between two relaxation conditions: a postural relaxation versus a voice-guided relaxation.
She would need an emotionally neutral auditory stimulation for one of her conditions. This neutral hearing stimulus will last 20 min.

Do you have any clue about what kind of neutral sound she could use?

Many thanks in advance,

Best regards,

Aurore Jaumard-Hakoun.

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