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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Jan;125(1):282-93. doi: 10.1121/1.3023067.

Within- and across-channel factors in the multiband comodulation masking release paradigm.

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Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7070, USA.


Maskers made up of comodulated narrow bands of noise can result in a signal detection advantage due to both within- and across-channel processes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether contributions from these processes could be differentiated on the basis of two stimulus manipulations: (1) onset/offset asynchrony across bands and (2) introduction of a random temporal fringe surrounding the comodulated bands. The hypothesis was that only masking release due to across-channel processing would be disrupted by these manipulations. Five-band comodulated maskers were constructed, and the availability of within- and across-channel cues was varied by adjusting the frequency spacing of the bands; both logarithmic and linear spacings were tested. The signal was a 1 kHz pure tone. Onset/offset asynchrony had different effects depending on the characteristics of the asynchrony. The results were consistent with an interpretation that across-channel, but not within-channel, masking release was disrupted when the flanking bands were presented continuously and the on-signal band was gated. However, the results suggested that both the across-channel and the within-channel masking release were disrupted in conditions where the on-signal band was continuous and the flanking bands were gated on, as well as in conditions where a random temporal fringe was present.

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