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Modulation masking produced by a low-frequency pure tone

Schlittenlacher, Josef; Lim, Ji Xia; Lawson, Jemima; Moore, Brian CJ; (2022) Modulation masking produced by a low-frequency pure tone. Hearing Research , 424 , Article 108596. 10.1016/j.heares.2022.108596. Green open access

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Abstract

An intense low-frequency tone can affect the perception of amplitude modulation (AM) applied to a high-frequency carrier. Here, thresholds for detecting AM of a 3000-Hz carrier were measured in the presence of a 50-Hz pure tone at 91 dB SPL. When the carrier was presented at 20 dB sensation level (SL), the thresholds were higher than in the absence of the 50-Hz tone, increased when the AM frequency was increased from 20 to 100 Hz, and did not show a maximum near 50 Hz, as would be expected if the effect of the 50-Hz tone resulted from modulation detection interference. When the AM frequency was fixed at 50 Hz, the AM detection thresholds showed a minimum when the phase of the AM was 90° ahead of the phase of the 50-Hz tone (denoted Δφ = 90°) and a maximum for Δφ = 270°. To assess the role of the outer hair cells (OHCs), AM detection thresholds were measured as a function of Δφ using SLs of 20 and 50 dB for normal-hearing participants and 20 dB for hearing-impaired participants. It was assumed that the latter would have impaired OHC function. The pattern of the results was similar across SLs and groups: AM detection thresholds were 8-10 dB lower for Δφ = 90° than for Δφ = 270° in all cases. This suggests that the OHCs do not play a large role in these effects and supports the idea that the low-frequency tone biases the responses of inner hair cells tuned to high frequencies.

Type: Article
Title: Modulation masking produced by a low-frequency pure tone
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2022.108596
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2022.108596
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Amplitude modulation, Envelope processing, Modulation interference, Modulation masking, Remote masking
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154691
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