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Suprathreshold Perception of Tonal Components in Noise Under Conditions of Masking Release

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Many technical sounds contain tonal components in a noise background. The present study investigates how such tonal components embedded in noise are perceived under conditions of enhanced detectability of the tone due to (i) amplitude modulation of the noise background or (ii) interaural disparities in the signal's phase. To quantify the sensation elicited by a tonal component in these masking-release conditions, the listeners are asked to adjust the level of the tone to have the same magnitude of tonal content (German “Tonhaltigkeit”) or to be perceived as equally loud as a tone which is masked by an unmodulated noise and presented diotically (baseline condition). For both sensations the signal-to-noise ratio at equal magnitude of the sensation is lower for the tone in the masking-release conditions than for the baseline condition. This is mainly due to the lower masked threshold of the tone in masking-release conditions. The eff ect is most prominent at low levels and decreases towards higher levels. A high correlation is observed between the data for the magnitude of tonal content and the partial loudness of the tone, demonstrating the similarity between these two sensations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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