Forward masking of dynamic acoustic intensity: effects of intensity region and end-level.


Overestimation of loudness change typically occurs in response to up-ramp auditory stimuli (increasing intensity) relative to down-ramps (decreasing intensity) matched on frequency, duration, and end-level. In the experiment reported, forward masking is used to investigate a sensory component of up-ramp overestimation: persistence of excitation after stimulus presentation. White-noise and synthetic vowel 3.6 s up-ramp and down-ramp maskers were presented over two regions of intensity change (40-60 dB SPL, 60-80 dB SPL). Three participants detected 10 ms 1.5 kHz pure tone signals presented at masker-offset to signal-offset delays of 10, 20, 30, 50, 90, 170 ms. Masking magnitude was significantly greater in response to up-ramps compared with down-ramps for masker-signal delays up to and including 50 ms. When controlling for an end-level recency bias (40-60 dB SPL up-ramp vs 80-60 dB SPL down-ramp), the difference in masking magnitude between up-ramps and down-ramps was not significant at each masker-signal delay. Greater sensory persistence in response to up-ramps is argued to have minimal effect on perceptual overestimation of loudness change when response biases are controlled. An explanation based on sensory adaptation is discussed.

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@article{Olsen2012ForwardMO, title={Forward masking of dynamic acoustic intensity: effects of intensity region and end-level.}, author={Kirk N. Olsen and Catherine J. Stevens}, journal={Perception}, year={2012}, volume={41 5}, pages={594-605} }