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J Acoust Soc Am. 1991 Aug;90(2 Pt 1):874-84.

Dynamic processes in the precedence effect.

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Department of Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


Three experiments were conducted to investigate the dependence of echo suppression on the auditory stimulation just prior to a test stimulus. Subjects sat in an anechoic chamber between two loudspeakers, one which presented the "lead" sound, and the other the delayed "lag" sound. In the first experiment, subjects reported whether or not they heard an echo coming from the vicinity of the lag loudspeaker during a test click pair. In seven of nine listeners, perception of the lagging sound was strongly diminished by the presence of a train of "conditioning" clicks presented just before the test click. Echo threshold increased (subjects were less sensitive to echoes) as the number of clicks in the train increased from 3 to 17. For a fixed number of clicks, the effect was essentially independent of click rate (from 1/s through 50/s) and duration of the train (from 0.5 through 8 s). A second experiment demonstrated a similar buildup of echo suppression with white noise bursts, regardless of whether the bursts in the conditioning train were repeated samples of frozen noise, or were independent samples of noise. Using an objective procedure for measuring echo threshold, the third experiment demonstrated that both lead and lag stimuli must be presented during the conditioning train in order to produce the buildup of suppression. When only the lead sound was presented during the conditioning train, the perceptibility of the lag sound during the test burst appeared to be enhanced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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