No need for templates in the auditory enhancement effect

Carcagno, Samuele and Semal, Catherine and Demany, Laurent (2013) No need for templates in the auditory enhancement effect. PLoS ONE, 8 (6): e67874. ISSN 1932-6203

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The audibility of a target tone in a multitone background masker is enhanced by the presentation of a precursor sound consisting of the masker alone. There is evidence that precursor-induced neural adaptation plays a role in this perceptual enhancement. However, the precursor may also be strategically used by listeners as a spectral template of the following masker to better segregate it from the target. In the present study, we tested this hypothesis by measuring the audibility of a target tone in a multitone masker after the presentation of precursors which, in some conditions, were made dissimilar to the masker by gating their components asynchronously. The precursor and the following sound were presented either to the same ear or to opposite ears. In either case, we found no significant difference in the amount of enhancement produced by synchronous and asynchronous precursors. In a second experiment, listeners had to judge whether a synchronous multitone complex contained exactly the same tones as a preceding precursor complex or had one tone less. In this experiment, listeners performed significantly better with synchronous than with asynchronous precursors, showing that asynchronous precursors were poorer perceptual templates of the synchronous multitone complexes. Overall, our findings indicate that precursor-induced auditory enhancement cannot be fully explained by the strategic use of the precursor as a template of the following masker. Our results are consistent with an explanation of enhancement based on selective neural adaptation taking place at a central locus of the auditory system.

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© 2013 Carcagno et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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?? general agricultural and biological sciencesgeneral biochemistry,genetics and molecular biologygeneral medicineagricultural and biological sciences(all)biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all)medicine(all) ??
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07 Feb 2014 10:29
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16 Jul 2024 09:32