Assessing the possible role of frequency-shift detectors in the ability to hear out partials in complex tones.

Brian C. J. Moore, Olivia Kenyon, Brian R. Glasberg, Laurent Demany
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2013-01-01; : 127-135
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-1590-9_15

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1. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;787:127-35. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-1590-9_15.

Assessing the possible role of frequency-shift detectors in the ability to hear
out partials in complex tones.

Moore BC(1), Kenyon O, Glasberg BR, Demany L.

Author information:
(1)Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

The possible role of frequency-shift detectors (FSDs) was assessed for a task
measuring the ability to hear out individual « inner » partials in a chord with
seven partials uniformly spaced on the ERBN-number (Cam) scale. In each of the
two intervals in a trial, a pure-tone probe was followed by a chord. In one
randomly selected interval, the frequency of the probe was the same as that of a
partial in the chord. In the other interval, the probe was mistuned upwards or
downwards from the « target » partial. The task was to indicate the interval in
which the probe coincided with the target. In the « symmetric » condition, the
frequency of the mistuned probe was midway in Cams between that of two partials
in the chord. This should have led to approximately symmetric activation of the
up-FSDs and down-FSDs, such that differential activation provided a minimal cue.
In the « asymmetric » condition, the mistuned probe was much closer in frequency to
one partial in the chord than to the next closest partial. This should have led
to differential activation of the up-FSDs and down-FSDs, providing a strong
discrimination cue. Performance was predicted to be better in the asymmetric than
in the symmetric condition. The results were consistent with this prediction
except when the probe was mistuned above the sixth (second highest) partial in
the chord. To explain this, it is argued that activation of FSDs depends both on
the size of the frequency shift between successive components and on the pitch
strength of each component.

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-1590-9_15
PMID: 23716217 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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