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38 Cards in this Set

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psychophysics vs psychoacoustics

psychophysics: how we perceive physical stimulus

psychoacoustics: how we perceive sound


stimulus that produces an arbitrary, but defined, level of performance

Method of constant stimuli

randomly present different intensity levels of stimuli, listener responds to stimuli, record answers

not sequential; random

Pros: easy to administer, provide precise estimate of threshold

cons: need to know threshold in advance, lots of trials, time consuming

method of limits

adaptive, start with level listener can hear, present levels lower and lower until cannot hear

sometimes start where easily heard, sometimes where can't hear, sequential

Pros: efficient because can 'focus' stimuli near threshold, giving threshold fewer trials, don't need threshold to start

cons: 'false' responses cause errors in estimating threshold

bias: anticipation and habituation

method of adjustment

subject controls stimulus instead of investigator, increase dial until hear sound, then decrease until don't hear, sequential

more intensity for high frequency

pros: easy, intuitive appeal

cons: results can be unreliable

bias: hard to tell if you heard sound at threshold

uses sequential ascending and descending presentations of stimuli

method of limits and method of adjustment

3 methods of threshold

method of adjustment, method of limits, method of constant stimuli

Response Bias

listerer's tendency to say 'yes I heard that'

anticipation: anticipating sound, hitting button early

habituation: stopped hearing sound, don't realize, keep pushing button

hard to tell if you heard sound at threshold

catch trials

present trial with no sound, does person say they hear it

pros: simple, provides info about bias, provides info regarding how reliable the threshold is

cons: doesn't provide way to adjust threshold to correct for bias

receiver operating character analysis

assumes when you are close to the threshold, sometimes no sound sound like something

assumes that the person's threshold is influenced by both sensitivity and bias

pros: complete and bias-free measure of sensitivity

cons: time consuming

ROC Curve

Conservative vs. liberal

conservative: only hit button if you are 100% positive= low hit rate, low false alarm

liberal: respond even if you think you heard something = high hit rate, high false alarm


correct rejection


false alarm

hit: signal, response

correct rejection: no signal, no response

miss: signal, no response

false alarm: no signal, response

2 alternative forced choice (2 AFC)

play 2 test intervals, one with sound one with no sound

listener picks interval where sound was present, bias applies equally to both intervals and cancels out

pros: bias-free, combines with other methods

cons: technical details


interference in perception of one stimulus due to the presentation of another stimulus. any noise that interferes with your ability to hear a signal.

signal or probe

stimulus you are trying to hear


sound that is doing the masking

the other sound

quiet threshold

absolute threshold for signal, probe presented alone

masked threshold

threshold for signal, probe when presented with masker

amount of masking

difference between quiet threshold and masked threshold

masking always increases threshold`

true simultaneous

signal presented midway through masker

forward fringe

signal and masker start at same time , masker continues

backward fringe

masker starts first, ends at the same time

forward masking

period between masker then signal

signal increase, masker will be less, not 1:1

level of auditory nerve: peripheral process

dichotic doesn't work

backward masking

signal break then masker

causes not well understood

more effective than forward

monotic: same ear

dichotic: different ears

level of brainstem: central process

Relative Effectiveness of different types of masking

signal and masker far apart, not much change in threshold

signal and masker get closer, threshold goes up (hear more)

you want higher threshold

1. forward fringe

2. backward fringe

3. true sim.

tone on tone simultaneous masking

more difficult when masker is closer in frequency

lower frequency, not much masking

signal higher in frequency than masker, more intensity

pure tone maskers and narrow band noises

may have narrow spectrums and will produce narrow regions of masking

similiar to tone-on-tone

higher frequencies masker to higher extent

broadband noise

lots of frequencies across spectrum, masking for broad range of frequencies

amount of masking depends on

timing of masker




Temporal Resolution

ability to follow rapid changes in a sound

signal longer, easier to hear, not as intense

auditory nerve response to rapid change

fibers do not fire at instant sound begins/ ends

fibers do not fire on every cycle of sound

spontaneous activity occurs when no sound is present

auditory nerve response does not follow change with perfect precision (exactly what signal is doing)

sensitivity-resolution tradeoff

extend integration time to improve sensitivity (ability to hear), you lose resolution (following rapid changes)

spectral splatter

over time, want longer period of time

one frequency

measure temporal resolution

duration discrimination: duration between 2 signals, very acute, threshold: shortest duration difference

gap detection: increase frequency, gap narrower, threshold: narrowest gap

amplitude modulation detection: how much do you have to modulate amplitude for listener to tell its been modified

modulation depth

lowest modulation depth that we can detect a change

AM detection as a function of modulation rate

temporal modulation transfer funtion (TMTF)

higher frequencies, big changes in depth

good at AM detection up to 50-60 Hz mod. rate

50-60 Hz= 17-20 ms/cycle of modulation

multiple integrators

good temporal resolution because neural fibers have different integration times

AN fibers receiving info from inner HC and going to brain

200 ms: good for detecting sound

500 ms: good for detecting gap

multiple looks

good temporal resolution because we use memory to integrate sound energy