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On- and off-frequency compression estimated using a new version of the additivity of forward masking technique

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date08/2010
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Journal number2
Volume128
Number of pages16
Pages771-786
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

On- and off-frequency compression at the 4000- and 8000-Hz cochlear places were estimated using a new version of the additivity of forward masking (AFM) technique, that measures the effects of combining two non-overlapping forward maskers. Instead of measuring signal thresholds to estimate compression of the signal as in the original AFM technique, the decrease in masker threshold in the combined-masker condition compared to the individual-masker conditions is used to estimate compression of the masker at the signal place. By varying masker frequency it is possible to estimate off-frequency compression. The maskers were 500-Hz-wide bands of noise, and the signal was a brief pure tone. Compression at different levels was estimated using different overall signal levels, or different masker-signal intervals. It was shown that the new AFM technique and the original AFM technique produce consistent results. Considerable compression was observed for maskers well below the signal frequency, suggesting that the assumption of off-frequency linearity used in other techniques may not be valid. Reducing the duration of the first masker from 200 to 20 ms reduced the compression exponent in some cases, suggesting a possible influence of olivocochlear efferent activity.