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Reconsidering evidence for the suppression model of the octave illusion

Chambers, Christopher D., Mattingley, J. B. and Moss, S. A. 2004. Reconsidering evidence for the suppression model of the octave illusion. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 11 (4) , pp. 642-666. 10.3758/BF03196617

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The octave illusion is elicited by a sequence of tones presented to each ear that continuously alternate in frequency by one octave, but with high and low frequencies always in different ears. The percept for most listeners is a high pitch in one ear, alternating with a low pitch in the other ear. The influentialsuppression model of the illusion proposed by Deutsch and Roll (1976) carries three postulates: first, that listeners perceive only the pitch of the tones presented to their dominant ear; second, that this pitch is heard in whichever ear received the higher frequency tone; and third, that this apparent dissociation betweenwhat andwhere mechanisms arises from sequential interactions between the tones. In the present article, we reappraise evidence for the suppression model and demonstrate (1) the incompatibility of the theory with the existing literature on pitch perception, sound localization, and ear dominance and (2) methodological limitations in studies that have claimed to provide support for the suppression model. We conclude by proposing an alternative theory of the octave illusion that is based on established principles of fusion, rather than suppression, between ears.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Psychonomic Society
ISSN: 1069-9384
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:08

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