Temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) were measured for detection of monaural sinusoidal amplitude modulation and dynamically varying interaural level differences for a single set of listeners. For the interaural TMTFs, thresholds are the modulation depths at which listeners can just discriminate interaural envelope-phase differences of 1 and 180°. A 5-kHz pure tone and narrowband noises, 30- and 300-Hz wide centered at 5 kHz, were used as carriers. In the interaural conditions, the noise carriers were either diotic or interaurally uncorrelated. The interaural TMTFs with tonal and diotic noise carriers exhibited a low-pass characteristic but the cutoff frequencies changed nonmonotonically with increasing bandwidth. The interaural TMTFs for the tonal carrier began rolling off approximately a half-octave lower than the tonal monaural TMTF (∼80 Hz vs ∼120 Hz). Monaural TMTFs obtained with noise carriers showed effects attributable to masking of the signal modulation by intrinsic fluctuations of the carrier. In the interaural task with dichotic noise carriers, similar masking due to the interaural carrier fluctuations was observed. Although the mechanisms responsible for differences between the monaural and interaural TMTFs are unknown, the lower binaural TMTF cutoff frequency suggests that binaural processing exhibits greater temporal limitation than monaural processing.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Armin Kohlrausch, Dr. Wesley Grantham, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments. This work was supported by Research Grant No. R03 DC 05343-01 and Research Grant No. R01 DC 00683, both from the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. 1