Phillips D P, Smith J C, 2004, "Correlations among within-channel and between-channel auditory gap-detection thresholds in normal listeners" Perception 33(3) 371 – 378
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Correlations among within-channel and between-channel auditory gap-detection thresholds in normal listeners
Dennis P Phillips, Jennifer C Smith
Received 30 June 2003, in revised form 23 October 2003; published online 19 March 2004
Abstract. We obtained data on within-channel and between-channel auditory temporal gap-detection acuity in the normal population. Ninety-five normal listeners were tested for gap-detection thresholds, for conditions in which the gap was bounded by spectrally identical, and by spectrally different, acoustic markers. Separate thresholds were obtained with the use of an adaptive tracking method, for gaps delimited by narrowband noise bursts centred on 1.0 kHz, noise bursts centred on 4.0 kHz, and for gaps bounded by a leading marker of 4.0 kHz noise and a trailing marker of 1.0 kHz noise. Gap thresholds were lowest for silent periods bounded by identical markers -- 'within-channel' stimuli. Gap thresholds were significantly longer for the between-channel stimulus -- silent periods bounded by unidentical markers (p < 0.0001). Thresholds for the two within-channel tasks were highly correlated (R = 0.76). Thresholds for the between-channel stimulus were weakly correlated with thresholds for the within-channel stimuli (1.0 kHz, R = 0.39; and 4.0 kHz, R = 0.46). The relatively poor predictability of between-channel thresholds from the within-channel thresholds is new evidence on the separability of the mechanisms that mediate performance of the two tasks. The data confirm that the acuity difference for the tasks, which has previously been demonstrated in only small numbers of highly trained listeners, extends to a population of untrained listeners. The acuity of the between-channel mechanism may be relevant to the formation of voice-onset time-category boundaries in speech perception.
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