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Roles of the target and masker fundamental frequencies in voice segregation

Deroche, Mickael L. D., Culling, John Francis, Chatterjee, Monita and Limb, Charles J. 2014. Roles of the target and masker fundamental frequencies in voice segregation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 136 (3) , 1225. 10.1121/1.4890649

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Intelligibility of a target voice improves when its fundamental frequency (F0) differs from that of a masking voice, but it remains unclear how this masking release (MR) depends on the two relative F0s. Three experiments measured speech reception thresholds (SRTs) for a target voice against different maskers. Experiment 1 evaluated the influence of target F0 itself. SRTs against white noise were elevated by at least 2 dB for a monotonized target voice compared with the unprocessed voice, but SRTs differed little for F0s between 50 and 150 Hz. In experiments 2 and 3, a MR occurred when there was a steady difference in F0 between the target voice and a stationary speech-shaped harmonic complex or a babble. However, this MR was considerably larger when the F0 of the masker was 11 semitones above the target F0 than when it was 11 semitones below. In contrast, for a fixed masker F0, the MR was similar whether the target F0 was above or below. The dependency of these MRs on the masker F0 suggests that a spectral mechanism such as glimpsing in between resolved masker partials may account for an important part of this phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
ISSN: 0001-4966
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:47

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