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Effect of Mid-Term Adaptation on Pure-Tone Detection

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Performance in detecting a 50 ms pure-tone signal in a longer tone-burst masker was evaluated as a function of the delay between masker and signal onset. Delays from 500 ms to 5 s were used, and detection was measured in terms of sensitivity d′. Performance was also measured for a continuous masker. In a first experiment, the masker and the signal had the same frequency (500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz). In this case, sensitivity increased with delay for high frequencies and for high masker levels. In a second experiment, the masker and the signal had different frequencies; the masker was set at 4 kHz and the signal frequency was inside and outside the critical band of the masker. For this second case, the results depended on masker level and signal frequency: increasing the delay for a 50 dB SL masker did not improve detection; at 80 dB SPL, however, delaying the signal improved detection for signal frequencies close to the masker frequency. The assumption is made that the improved detection for long durations of the masker originates from a long-term decrease in the firing rate of the auditory nerve fibers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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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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