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Lateral Suppression and Loudness Reduction of a Tone in Noise

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Several masking experiments were performed with a 1000-Hz test tone and a masker consisting of a 1000-Hz tone plus noise. In two experiments using a non-simultaneous masking technique (e.g., forward masking), it was found that a tone-plus-noise masker may be considerably less effective in masking than the tonal masker alone. This effect of noise on the masking effectiveness of a tone appeared to correspond quantitatively with the effect of noise on the loudness of the tone. It is suggested that these noise-induced reductions of both the loudness and the masking effectiveness of a tone reflect the operation of one and the same mechanism: lateral suppression of the tone by the noise. The results of further experiments with bands of noise added to the 1000-Hz-tone illustrate that the supposed suppression acts mainly “one-directional”: from higher to lower frequencies. The present data on tone-plus-noise maskers agree well with previous data on two-tone maskers and with related electrophysiological observations on “lateral inhibition” in single-unit responses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1974

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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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