Enhancement in Informational Masking PurposeThe ability to detect a tone added to a random masker improves when a preview of the masker is provided. In 2 experiments, the authors explored the role that perceptual organization plays in this release from masking.MethodDetection thresholds were measured in informational masking studies. The maskers were drawn at random ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2012
Enhancement in Informational Masking
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Virginia M. Richards
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Correspondence to Xiang Cao: xiangcao@seas.upenn.edu
  • Virginia M. Richards is now at the University of California, Irvine.
    Virginia M. Richards is now at the University of California, Irvine.×
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Beverly Wright
    Associate Editor: Beverly Wright×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2012
Enhancement in Informational Masking
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1135-1147. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/09-0149)
History: Received July 25, 2009 , Revised May 18, 2010 , Accepted December 9, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1135-1147. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/09-0149)
History: Received July 25, 2009; Revised May 18, 2010; Accepted December 9, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposeThe ability to detect a tone added to a random masker improves when a preview of the masker is provided. In 2 experiments, the authors explored the role that perceptual organization plays in this release from masking.

MethodDetection thresholds were measured in informational masking studies. The maskers were drawn at random prior to each trial. Masker or signal-plus-masker precursors preceded the detection interval, and the time between the precursor and the detection interval was systematically altered. In Experiment 1, the signal frequency was either fixed or random. In Experiment 2, the random masker was composed of harmonics of a common fundamental frequency (F0), and the randomly chosen signal frequency was either harmonically related to, or mistuned from, the masker’s F0.

ResultsFor a masker precursor, the release from informational masking withstood longer precursor-detection interval delays (a) when the signal frequency was fixed versus random and (b) when the signal was mistuned relative to a harmonic of the masker’s F0.

ConclusionThese results suggest that listeners' ability to attend to the signal may contribute to the long-lived release from masking with a masker precursor.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant RO1 DC02012. We thank Rong Huang for very helpful comments on a draft of this article.
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