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Auditory Phase Opponency: A Temporal Model for Masked Detection at Low Frequencies

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We present a model for tone-in-noise detection at low frequencies that includes a physiologically realistic mechanism for processing the information in neural discharge times. The proposed model exploits the frequency-dependent phase properties of the tuned filters in the auditory periphery and uses cross-auditory-nerve-fiber coincidence detection to extract temporal cues. Information in the responses of model coincidence detectors is quantified and compared to human performance in a masked detection task. The responses of some cross-frequency coincidence detectors are reduced when a low-frequency tone is added to a noise because of phase differences between fibers tuned to different frequencies. We refer to this response reduction as "phase opponency." For super-critical masker bandwidths, the PO model succeeds in predicting detection of low-frequency tones in roving-level maskers, a psychophysical task for which the classical energy model fails. The PO model describes a physiologically realistic mechanism for extracting spatio-temporal information that can be applied to other sensory systems in which spatially overlapping and partially correlated temporal information is important.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2002

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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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