Index of content:
Volume 129, Issue 4, April 2011
- PSYCHOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3562563View Description Hide Description
Experiment 1 examined comodulation masking release (CMR) for a 700-Hz tonal signal under conditions of NoSo (noise and signal interaurally in phase) and NoSπ (noise in phase, signal out of phase) stimulation. The baseline stimulus for CMR was either a single 24-Hz wide narrowband noise centered on the signal frequency [on-signal band (OSB)] or the OSB plus, a set of flanking noise bands having random envelopes. Masking noise was either gated or continuous. The CMR, defined with respect to either the OSB or the random noise baseline, was smaller for NoSπ than NoSo stimulation, particularly when the masker was continuous. Experiment 2 examined whether the same pattern of results would be obtained for a 2000-Hz signal frequency; the number of flanking bands was also manipulated (two versus eight). Results again showed smaller CMR for NoSπ than NoSo stimulation for both continuous and gated masking noise. The CMR was larger with eight than with two flanking bands, and this difference was greater for NoSo than NoSπ. The results of this study are compatible with serial mechanisms of binaural and monaural masking release, but they indicate that the combined masking release (binaural masking-level difference and CMR) falls short of being additive.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3552880View Description Hide Description
The enhancement effect is consistently shown when simultaneously masked stimuli are preceded by the masker alone, with a reduction in the amount of masking relative to when that precursor is absent. One explanation for this effect proposed by Viemeister and Bacon [(1982). J. Acoust. Soc. Am.71, 1502–1507] is the adaptation of inhibition, which predicts that an enhanced component (the “target”) will be effectively more intense within the auditory system than one that has not been enhanced. Forward masking studies have indicated this effect of increased gain; however, other explanations of the enhancement effect have also been suggested. In order to provide an alternative measure of the amount of effective gain for an enhanced target, a subjective binaural centering task was used in which listeners matched the intensities of enhanced and unenhanced 2-kHz tones presented to opposite ears to produce a centered stimulus. The results showed that the enhancement effect produces an effective 4–5 dB increase in the level of the enhanced target. The enhancement effect was also measured using other enhancement paradigms which yielded similar results over a range of levels for the target, supporting an account based on adaptation of inhibition.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3557043View Description Hide Description
The detection of a brief increment in the intensity of a longer duration pedestal is commonly used as a measure of intensity-resolution. Increment detection is known to improve with increasing duration of the increment and also with increasing duration of the pedestal, but the relative effects of these two parameters have not been explored in the same study. In several past studies of the effects of increment duration, pedestal duration was increased as increment duration increased. In the present study, increment and pedestal duration were independently manipulated. Increment-detection thresholds were determined for four subjects with normal-hearing using a 500- or 4000-Hz pedestal presented at 60 dB sound pressure level (SPL). Increment durations were 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, and 320 ms. Pedestal durations were 20, 40, 80, 160, and 320 ms. Each increment duration was combined with all pedestals of equal or greater duration. Multiple-regression analyses indicate that increment detection under these conditions is determined primarily by pedestal duration. Follow-up experiments ruled out effects of off-frequency listening or overshoot. The results suggest that effects of increment duration have been confounded by effects of pedestal duration in studies that co-varied increment and pedestal duration. Implications for models of temporal integration are discussed.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3543969View Description Hide Description
The auditory discrimination of force of impact was measured for three groups of listeners using sounds synthesized according to first-order equations of motion for the homogenous, isotropic bar [Morse and Ingard (1968). Theoretical Acoustics pp. 175–191]. The three groups were professional percussionists, nonmusicians, and individuals recruited from the general population without regard to musical background. In the two-interval, forced-choice procedure, listeners chose the sound corresponding to the greater force of impact as the length of the bar varied from one presentation to the next. From the equations of motion, a maximum-likelihood test for the task was determined to be of the form Δlog A + αΔ log f > 0, where A and f are the amplitude and frequency of any one partial and α = 0.5. Relative decision weights on Δ log f were obtained from the trial-by-trial responses of listeners and compared to α. Percussionists generally outperformed the other groups; however, the obtained decision weights of all listeners deviated significantly from α and showed variability within groups far in excess of the variability associated with replication. Providing correct feedback after each trial had little effect on the decision weights. The variability in these measures was comparable to that seen in studies involving the auditory discrimination of other source attributes.