This page is for notes and ideas about the auditory saliency work. There are three sub-projects.

Auditory Saliency

There are three subprojects

  • EEG measurements of saliency (Ailar, Song Hui, Spencer, Peter)
  • Mouse-based tracking experiment (Daniel and others)
  • Auditory Gisting (Clara)

EEG Measurements of Saliency

'Ailar Javadi', Song Hui Chon, 'Spencer Kellis', 'Mounya', Malcolm Slaney

WORD OF CAUTION: (added by Mounya)
Saliency is generally thought of as an automatic bottom-up process that can attract our attention involuntarily. However, results from the visual system are showing that the neural response to salient distracters that are irrelevant for a task at hand could be suppressed [1].

Our initial results from the EEG experiment #1 of auditory backgrounds with embedded natural distracters seem to suggest the same effects. Specifically, a power ratio between EEG responses to distracters vs. backgrounds is consistently biased towards suppressing the distractors’ response. Is this result replicable? Is it consistent for different types of tasks (other than duration judgment)? The data is very preliminary so far..

[1] C. Mevorach, J. Hodsoll, H. Allen, L. Shalev, and G. Humphreys, “Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: A Neural Circuit to Downregulate Salience,” J. Neurosci., Apr 2010; 30: 6072 - 6079.

Mouse-based tracking experiments

'Daniel Pressnitzer'

Auditory Gisting

'Clara Suied'

for the results, see: https://neuromorphs.net/nm/wiki/2010/att10/gisting

Auditory Background

The very first, as far as I (Malcolm) know model for auditory saliency was done by Christoph Kayser in Germany. It's a rather straightforward extension of the visual saliency ideas to auditory perception. The paper describing the paper is here Download, and the supplement that describes the experiments is here Download. The code for Kayser's model is here: attachment:KayserModel.txt

The BBC Sound Effects library is online here in Telluride. It's on "Patrick's Mac Mini" under "Malcolm's Public Folder." Anybody (on a Mac) should be able to login and browse the sounds. Not sure about Linux and Windows access yet. The IP address, if you prefer, is

That's the good news. The bad news is that when I ripped the tracks, they didn't all get recognized correctly, so names are often missing. Track numbers should be right. The track list is at attachment:BBCSoundEffectsTrackList1-40.pdf Download.

Visual Background

There are many models of visual saliency. It's a well studied field, mostly based on eye-tracking data. Here are pointers to the interesting activity in this area.

Itti's lab work is described here:  http://ilab.usc.edu/bu/

A real-time visual saliency code is published here:  http://mplab.ucsd.edu/~nick/NMPT/