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The perceptual enhancement of tones by frequency shifts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Hearing Research
Volume298
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)10-16
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In a chord of pure tones with a flat spectral profile, one tone can be perceptually enhanced relative to the other tones by the previous presentation of a slightly different chord. "Intensity enhancement" (IE) is obtained when the component tones of the two chords have the same frequencies, but in the first chord the target of enhancement is attenuated relative to the other tones. "Frequency enhancement" (FE) is obtained when both chords have a flat spectral profile, but the target of enhancement shifts in frequency from the first to the second chord. We report here an experiment in which IE and FE were measured using a task requiring the listener to indicate whether or not the second chord included a tone identical to a subsequent probe tone. The results showed that a global attenuation of the first chord relative to the second chord disrupted IE more than FE. This suggests that the mechanisms of IE and FE are not the same. In accordance with this suggestion, computations of the auditory excitation patterns produced by the chords indicate that the mechanism of IE is not sufficient to explain FE for small frequency shifts.