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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As Mads Walther-Hansen makes clear, we regularly make use of cognitive metaphors when appraising sound quality. For example, nonauditory descriptors such as warm, cold, and rough might be used to describe auditory parameters, such as when assessing loudspeakers. Equally, we measure such assessments of sound quality against an ideal that, so we are told, is grounded in past sensory-motor experience. However, as Walther-Hansen argues, this explanation is problematic when viewed in light of evolving audio technologies because the cognitive structures behind value- and sense-making are themselves evolving hand-in-hand with those technologies. His focus, therefore, is on the processes of structural coupling that take place between imagined cognitive ideals of sound quality and ever-changing external factors. Walther-Hansen’s thesis is that, in order to explain this process, language should be viewed as a fundamental part of cognitive processing rather than merely being controlled by it.

Keywords: sound quality, embodied cognition, cognitive, metaphor, sensory-motor experience, processing

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