Harmonic fusion and pitch affinity: Is there a direct link?

Damien Bonnard, René Dauman, Catherine Semal, Laurent Demany
Hearing Research. 2016-03-01; 333: 247-254
DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2015.08.015

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1. Hear Res. 2016 Mar;333:247-254. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2015.08.015. Epub 2015 Sep
1.

Harmonic fusion and pitch affinity: Is there a direct link?

Bonnard D(1), Dauman R(2), Semal C(3), Demany L(4).

Author information:
(1)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, CNRS and
Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Leo-Saignat, F-33076 Bordeaux, France. Electronic
address: .
(2)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, CNRS and
Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Leo-Saignat, F-33076 Bordeaux, France. Electronic
address: .
(3)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, CNRS and
Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Leo-Saignat, F-33076 Bordeaux, France. Electronic
address: .
(4)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, CNRS and
Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Leo-Saignat, F-33076 Bordeaux, France. Electronic
address: .

Simultaneous pure tones approximately one octave apart tend to be fused
perceptually and to evoke a single pitch sensation. Besides, sequentially
presented pure tones show a subjective « affinity » or similarity in pitch when
their frequency ratio is close to one octave. The aim of the study reported here
was to determine if these two perceptual phenomena are directly related. Each
stimulus was a triplet of simultaneous or successive pure tones forming frequency
ratios varying across stimuli between 0.96 and 1.04 octaves. The tones were
presented at a low sensation level (15 dB) within broadband threshold-equalizing
noise, in order to prevent them from interacting in the cochlea when they were
simultaneous. A large set of stimulus comparisons made by 18 listeners indicated
that: (1) when the tones were simultaneous, maximal fusion was obtained for a
mean frequency ratio deviating by less than 0.2% from one octave, and fusion
decreased less rapidly above this frequency ratio than below it; (2) when the
tones were presented successively, maximal pitch affinity was obtained for a mean
frequency ratio significantly larger than one octave, and pitch affinity
decreased more rapidly above this frequency ratio than below it. The differences
between the results obtained for simultaneous and successive tones suggest that
harmonic fusion and pitch affinity are unrelated phenomena.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2015.08.015
PMID: 26341475 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus