Shortening the duration of a Gaussian-shaped 2-kHz tone-pip causes the intensity-difference limen (DL) to depart from the "near-miss to Weber's law" and swell into a mid-level hump [Nizami et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 110, 2505-2515 (2001)]. For some subjects the size of this hump approaches or exceeds the size reported for longer tones under forward masking, suggesting that forward masking might make little difference to the DL for very brief probes. To test this hypothesis, DLs were determined over 30 to 90 dB SPL for a brief Gaussian-shaped 2-kHz tone-pip. DLs were obtained first without forward masking, then with the pip placed 10 or 100 ms after a 200-ms 2-kHz tone of 50 dB SPL, or 100 ms after a 200-ms 2-kHz tone of 70 dB SPL. DLs inflated significantly under all forward-masking conditions. DLs also enlarged under an 80 dB SPL forward masker at pip delays of 4, 10, 40, and 100 ms. The peaks of the humps obtained under forward masking clustered around a sensation level (SL) that was significantly lower than the average SL for the peaks of the humps obtained without forward masking. Overall, the results do not support the neuronal-recovery-rate model of Zeng et al. [Hear. Res. 55, 223-230 (1991)], but are not incompatible with the Carlyon and Beveridge hypothesis [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 93, 2886-2895 (1993)] that nonsimultaneous maskers corrupt the memory trace evoked by the probe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics