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

Culling, John Francis, 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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Abstract

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: 04 Jun 2017 02:55
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/13749

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