The effect of basilar-membrane nonlinearity on the shapes of masking period patterns in normal and impaired hearing

M. Wojtczak, A. C. Schroder, Y. Y. Kong, D. A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Masking period patterns (MPPs) were measured in listeners with normal and impaired hearing using amplitude-modulated tonal maskers and short tonal probes. The frequency of the masker was either the same as the frequency of the probe (on-frequency masking) or was one octave below the frequency of the probe (off-frequency masking). In experiment 1, MPPs were measured for listeners with normal hearing using different masker levels. Carrier frequencies of 3 and 6 kHz were used for the masker. The probe had a frequency of 6 kHz. For all masker levels, the off-frequency MPPs exhibited deeper and longer valleys compared with the on-frequency MPPs. Hearing-impaired listeners were tested in experiment 2. For some hearing-impaired subjects, masker frequencies of 1.5 kHz and 3 kHz were paired with a probe frequency of 3 kHz. MPPs measured for listeners with hearing loss had similar shapes for on- and off-frequency maskers. It was hypothesized that the shapes of MPPs reflect nonlinear processing at the level of the basilar membrane in normal hearing and more linear processing in impaired hearing. A model assuming different cochlear gains for normal versus impaired hearing and similar parameters of the temporal integrator for both groups of listeners successfully predicted the MPPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1586
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume109
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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