Understanding sound as an auditory skill
Research on auditory perception often starts from an assumed theoretical framework of bottom-up acoustic signal decoding followed by pattern matching of signal information to memory. Some forms of auditory perception such as speech perception are often assumed to be mediated by specialized mechanisms, shaped by evolution to address the challenges of speech perception. However, neither of these broad approaches conceives of these systems as intrinsically adaptable and plastic; learning is typically considered as a separate process applied to perceptual information processing. Instead, auditory perception could be viewed as an adaptive system changed by the act of perception. I will present some evidence for this view and raise questions about claims of critical periods as biological determinism for perceptual plasticity given that auditory perception is auditory learning.