This is the sixth edition of Brian Moore’s introductory textbook to the field of psychoacoustics, which explores the links between the physical and perceptual properties of sound.

The work has been revised throughout, with references to over 100 scientific papers published since the previous edition, and the inclusion of new sub-sections covering informational masking and the roles of envelope and temporal fine structure cues in speech perception.

Additional sub-sections on pitch perception are also included. As in previous editions, the book takes the reader from the physical characteristics of sounds and the physiology of the auditory system to research on loudness and frequency selectivity, the perception of pitch, speech and space, and the analysis of complex auditory scenes.

The book provides a balanced assessment of research in each field by discussing the details of key studies, giving readers a real feel for how psychoacoustic research is carried out. It assumes little previous knowledge, but its level of detail is such that it may be found challenging by a more general audience (Chris Plack’s book, The Sense of Hearing, may provide a gentler introduction).

The flip-side of this is that the book will prove invaluable not only to students with a specific interest in hearing, but also to researchers and clinicians who require an up-to-date and authoritative summary of their area of interest.

The book primarily focuses on the psychoacoustics of normal hearing, but there is discussion of the changes in loudness perception and frequency selectivity in impaired hearing, as well as discussion of the applications of psychoacoustics to hearing-aid and cochlear-implant design.

Without doubt, the book warrants a rating of five out of five, and is recommended for audiologists and otologists, sound and hearing-aid engineers, and psychologists and physiologists with a specific interest in hearing. This book has been a staple of psychoacoustic tuition since the first edition was published in 1977, and this update will ensure it remains so for many years to come.

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Paul Briley

Department of Psychology, University of York, UK.

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