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Temporal dynamics of pitch strength in regular-interval noises: effect of listening region and an auditory model

J Acoust Soc Am 107: 3343-50

Authors/Editors: Wiegrebe L
Hirsch HS
Patterson RD
Fastl H
Publication Date: 2000
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 1976 - 2000
Recently, it was demonstrated that the pitch strength of a stimulus denoted "AABB" differed from rippled noise (RN) despite the fact that their long-term spectra and autocorrelation functions are identical (Wiegrebe et al., 1998). Rippled noise is generated by adding a delayed copy of Gaussian noise back to itself; AABB is generated by concatenating equal-duration, Gaussian-noise segments where every segment is repeated once. It was shown that a simple model based on a two-stage integration process separated by a nonlinear transformation explains the pitch-strength differences quantitatively. Here, we investigate how the spectral listening region influences pitch-strength differences between RN and AABB. Bandpass filtering the two stimuli with a constant bandwidth of 1 kHz revealed a systematic effect of center frequency. For relatively high pitches (corresponding to delays, d, of 4 or 5.6 ms, pitch strength differences between AABB and RN were absent when the pass band was between 0 and 1 kHz. When the pass band was between 3.5 and 4.5 kHz, pitch-strength differences were substantial. For lower pitches (d equal to or longer than 8 ms), AABB had a substantially greater pitch strength independent of the filter center frequency. The model presented in Wiegrebe et al. (1998) cannot capture these effects of center frequency. Here, it is demonstrated that it is possible to simulate the RN-AABB pitch-strength differences, and the effect of listening region, with a computer model of the auditory periphery. It is shown that, in an auditory model, pitch-strength differences are introduced by the nonlinear transformation possibly associated with half-wave rectification or mechanoelectrical transduction. In this experimental context, however, the nonlinearity has perceptual relevance only when the differences in short-term fluctuations of AABB and RN are preserved in auditory-filter outputs. The current experiments relate the purely functional model introduced in the preceding paper to basic properties of the peripheral auditory system. The implication for neural time constants of pitch processing is discussed.

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