Auditory temporal processing was examined using a flutter-fusion paradigm in which two tones were separated by a silent interval. The listener's task was to judge when the two tones, presented in a background noise, fused perceptually. The fusion point was studied in a series of six experiments. In the first five experiments, the duration of the first stimulus (Tx) was the dependent variable. In the last experiment, the duration of the second stimulus (T2) was the dependent variable. An inverse relationship was found between Tx duration and the interstimulus interval (ISI) such that, when ISI was decreased, Tx duration had to be increased to maintain fusion. When ISI was plotted as a function of Tx duration, the data were represented by a negative exponential equation. Increasing the level of the tones, increasing the bandwidth of the background noise, or presenting the stimuli dichotically lowered the duration of Tx necessary for fusion. Changing the frequency of the tones had no effect on fusion. Decreasing the duration of T2 and holding Tx constant also resulted in fusion. A neurophysiological model implicating ON and OFF neural response interactions is postulated to account for the data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics