Two experiments measured thresholds for the detection of increments and decrements in the intensity of a quasi-continuous broadband-noise (experiment 1) or increments in a 477-Hz pure-tone pedestal (experiment 2). A variety of onset and offset ramps for the intensity change were tested, from instantaneous onsets or offsets to ramps lasting several tens of milliseconds. For increments and decrements with equal duration, the characteristics of the ramps had little effect on performance. Abrupt rise times, which are associated with strong transient responses in auditory neurons, did not facilitate detection in comparison to much slower rise times. The temporal window model of temporal resolution provided a good account of the data when the decision statistic was the maximum magnitude of the change in the output of the window produced by the increment or decrement, but provided a poor account of the data when the decision statistic was the maximum rate of change in the output of the window over time. Overall the results suggest that, in the absence of cues in the audio-frequency domain, rapid changes in envelope contribute little to near-threshold increment or decrement detection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics