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The subjective masking of short time delayed echoes by their primary sounds and their contribution to the intelligibility of speech

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When interpreting intelligence conveyed by speech in a room the human hearing mechanism uses two distinct procedures;

(i) it fixes direction by considering only the first pulses of direct sound and the difference in their time of arrival at the two ears; for this purpose the echoes reflected by the different room surfaces are effectively maske d by the direct sound;

(ii) it interprets the message by integrating all the sound energy reaching the ears within a certain time interval; in this procedure the direct sound frequently plays a minor role, the major energy coming by way of reflections.

This article describes in Part I experiments carried out under nonreverberant conditions on the masking of single echoes by their primary sounds using speech and pulsed tones as signals. Part II gives results of articulation tests carried out to determine the integration characteristics of the hearing mechanism for speech.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1958

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  • 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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