Simultaneous masking of a 20-ms, 1-kHz signal was investigated using 50-ms gated and continuous sinusoidal maskers with frequencies below, at, and above 1 kHz. Gated maskers can produce considerably (5–20 dB) more masking than continuous maskers, and this difference does not appear to result from the spread of energy produced by gating either the masker or the signal. For masker frequencies below the signal frequency, this difference in masking is primarily due to the detection of the cubic difference tone in the continuous condition. For masker frequencies at and above the signal frequency, the difference appears to be an important property of masking. Implications of this frequency-dependent effect for measures of frequency selectivity are discussed.
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