An interrupted sound can be perceived as continuous when noise masks the interruption, creating an illusion of continuity. Recent findings have shown that adaptor sounds preceding an ambiguous target sound can influence listeners' rating of target continuity. However, it remains unclear whether these aftereffects on perceived continuity influence sensory processes, decisional processes (i.e., criterion shifts), or both. The present study addressed this question. Results show that the target sound was more likely to be rated as 'continuous' when preceded by adaptors that were perceived as clearly discontinuous than when it was preceded by adaptors that were heard (illusorily or veridically) as continuous. Detection-theory analyses indicated that these contrastive aftereffects reflect a combination of sensory and decisional processes. The contrastive sensory aftereffect persisted even when adaptors and targets were presented to opposite ears, suggesting a neural origin in structures that receive binaural inputs. Finally, physically identical but perceptually ambiguous adaptors that were rated as 'continuous' induced more reports of target continuity than adaptors that were rated as 'discontinuous'. This assimilative aftereffect was purely decisional. These findings confirm that judgments of auditory continuity can be influenced by preceding events, and reveal that these aftereffects have both sensory and decisional components.
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- HEARING ILLUSORY SOUNDS, SELECTIVE ADAPTATION, PERCEPTUAL TRANSFORMATIONS, PSYCHOPHYSICAL EVIDENCE, SPEECH CATEGORIZATION, PHONEMIC RESTORATION, STREAM SEGREGATION, NEURAL MECHANISMS, TONE SEQUENCES, AWAKE MACAQUES