Previous psychological research investigating the perceptual and cognitive processes involved when listening to complex sound sequences is reorganized into a framework composed of four types of processes: two basic processes (segmentation into groups and regularity extraction) and two hierarchical organizations (hierarchical segmentation organization and hierarchical metrical organization). This framework allows us to propose hypotheses about the way these processes are acquired: the basic processes may be universal (functional from an early age and common to everyone), whereas the integration of these building blocks into hierarchical organizations may be acquired (through acculturation and specific training). We present illustrations from our recent work in support of these hypotheses.

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