Discriminating coherence in spectrotemporal patterns

Gerald Kidd, Christine R. Mason, Huanping Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study examined the ability of trained listeners to discriminate coherent components in randomly varying spectral patterns. In each observation interval, the listener was presented with a sequence of bursts of multitone complexes having a fixed number of tones (m) in each burst. In the standard interval, the frequency of each tone in every burst was chosen randomly between 200 and 5000 Hz. In the signal interval, the frequencies of n tones were repeated throughout the burst sequence while the remaining m-n tones were chosen at random. The n tones were coherent in the sense that they were perceived as “sticking together” to form a pattern. The listener's task was to discriminate which burst sequence contained the n components. The results indicated that discrimination improved with increasing n/m, with increasing number of bursts per interval, and declined as the coherent components were increasingly perturbed in frequency. Further, for a fixed value of the ratio n/m discriminability was relatively independent of m. A. model incorporating multichannel filtering and an optimum decision rule was reasonably successful in accounting for the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3782-3790
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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