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The degree of similarity between signal and masker in informational masking paradigms has been hypothesized to contribute to informational masking. The present study attempted to quantify “similarity” using a discrimination task. Listeners discriminated various signal stimuli from a multitone complex and then detected the presence of those signals embedded in a multitone informational masker. Discriminability negatively correlated with detection threshold in an informational masking experiment, indicating that similarity between signal and the masker quality contributed to informational masking. These results suggest a method for specifying relevant signal attributes in informational masking paradigms involving similarity manipulations.


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