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Dichotic pitches as illusions of binaural unmasking. I. Huggins' pitch and the "binaural edge pitch"

Culling, John Francis ORCID:, Summerfield, A. Quentin and Marshall, David H. 1998. Dichotic pitches as illusions of binaural unmasking. I. Huggins' pitch and the "binaural edge pitch". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 103 (6) , pp. 3509-3526. 10.1121/1.423059

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The two most salient dichotic pitches, the Huggins pitch (HP) and the binaural edge pitch (BEP), are produced by applying interaural phase transitions of 360 and 180 degrees, respectively, to a broadband noise. This paper examines accounts of these pitches, concentrating on a “central activity pattern” (CAP) model and a “modified equalization-cancellation” (mE-C) model. The CAP model proposes that a dichotic pitch is heard at frequency f when an individual across-frequency scan in an interaural cross-correlation matrix contains a sharp peak at f. The mE-C model proposes that a dichotic pitch is heard when a plot of interaural decorrelation against frequency contains a peak at f. The predictions of the models diverge for the BEP at very narrow transition bandwidths: the mE-C model predicts that salience is sustained, while the CAP model predicts that salience declines and that the dominant percept is of the in-phase segment of the noise. Experiment 1 showed that the salience of the BEP was sustained at the narrowest bandwidths that could be generated (0.5% of the transition frequency). Experiment 2 confirmed that the pitch of a BEP produced by a 0.5% transition bandwidth was close to the frequency of the transition band. Experiment 3 showed that pairs of simultaneous narrow 180-degree transitions, whose frequencies corresponded to vowel formants, were perceived as the intended vowels. Moreover, the same vowels were perceived whether the in-phase portion of the noise lay between the two transition frequencies or on either side of them. In contrast, different patterns of identification responses were made to diotic band-pass and band-stop noises whose cutoff frequencies corresponded to the same formants. Thus, the vowel-identification responses made to the dichotic stimuli were not based on hearing the in-phase portions of the noise as formants. These results are not predicted by the CAP model but are consistent with the mE-C model. It is argued that the mE-C model provides a more coherent and parsimonious account of many aspects of the HP and the BEP than do alternative models.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hearing
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
ISSN: 0001-4966
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:24

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