This study sought to investigate the influence of temporal incoherence and inharmonicity on concurrent stream segregation, using performance-based measures. Subjects discriminated frequency shifts in a temporally regular sequence of target pure tones, embedded in a constant or randomly varying multi-tone background. Depending on the condition tested, the target tones were either temporally coherent or incoherent with, and either harmonically or inharmonically related to, the background tones. The results provide further evidence that temporal incoherence facilitates stream segregation and they suggest that deviations from harmonicity can cause similar facilitation effects, even when the targets and the maskers are temporally coherent.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grant No. R01 DC 07657. We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.