Steep temporal integration for tone detection in a multi-tone, random-frequency masker

Emily Buss, Huanping Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the detection of a tone burst, masking by several tones with random frequencies can produce steep temporal integration. This feature was evaluated for nine normal-hearing adults for 1000-Hz tone bursts presented in a continuous train of four-tone masker bursts. Masker frequencies were randomly selected (250-4000 Hz) for each burst, with the proviso that all tones were separated by ≥0.2 oct. Bursts were 80-ms in duration; when present, signal bursts were gated synchronously with masker bursts. The observed mean temporal-integration function was exceptionally steep—thresholds improved by 26 dB as signal duration increased from 1 to 8 bursts. The results also showed that the individual differences were large, and that the mean psychometric function was exceptionally shallow, spanning a range of 35 dB between 0.6 and 0.9 proportion correct responses, consistent with previous reports. These findings were interpreted in the context of three signal-detection models, one based on the absolute-level cue, and two based on the relative-level cue via template matching; all cues were derived from the excitation patterns of the stimuli. Template-matching models were able to predict the shallow psychometric functions as observed, but all models fall short in the steepness of the observed temporal integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3429-3437
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this