Observer weighting of monaural level information in a pair of tone pulses

Mark A. Stellmack, Neal F. Viemeister

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3 Scopus citations


A correlational analysis was used to assess the relative weight given to the levels of two monaurally presented tone pulses for interpulse intervals (IPIs) ranging from 2-256 ms. In three different experimental conditions, listeners were instructed to discriminate the level of the first pulse, the level of the second pulse, or the difference between the levels of the two pulses. The level of the target pulse was chosen randomly and independently from trial to trial from a Gaussian distribution. The level of the nontarget pulse was either fixed at 75 dB SPL or varied in the same manner as the level of the target. In the tasks in which one pulse was to be ignored, listeners gave increasing weight to the nontarget component as IPI decreased. Listeners weighted the level information in the pulses appropriately only when the IPI approached 256 ms. When the listeners were instructed to compare the pulse levels to one another, two of three listeners weighted the levels optimally at all IPIs, while the third listener did so only at the longest IPI. For the two listeners who weighted the pulses optimally, a minimum in performance was achieved at IPIs around 16-32 ms. Intensity discrimination thresholds were also measured for one pulse in the presence of a second fixed pulse for IPIs of 2-256 ms. Thresholds were higher in all the two-pulse conditions relative to a one-pulse condition, and were dependent on the level of the nontarget pulse but not on IPI. The results indicate that level information is integrated to some extent over fairly long durations, but not in a manner that is consistent with simple temporal integration. (C) 2000 Acoustical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3382-3393
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


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