The effects of frequency region and bandwidth on the temporal modulation transfer function

Elizabeth A. Strickland, Neal F. Viemeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Temporal resolution was examined as a function of frequency region and listening region. The first experiment demonstrated that amplitude- and frequency-modulated tones are not appropriate stimuli to study temporal resolution as a function of frequency region, due to the availability of other cues in addition to temporal ones. In the other experiments, thresholds for detection of sinusoidal amplitude modulation of a noise band were measured as a function of frequency region, bandwidth, and level of surrounding notched noise masker. Temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) measured in low- and high-frequency regions did not differ in sensitivity or in cutoff frequency, suggesting that initial 'critical band' filtering did not affect temporal resolution. When the upper cutoff frequency of the noise was held constant, TMTF sensitivity increased with noise bandwidth, while the cutoff frequency of the TMTF did not show measurable change. These results are consistent with the predictions of an envelope detector model if peripheral filtering in the lower-frequency range is assumed to be approximately twice as wide as that estimated by measuring thresholds for a tone in notched noise. Restricting the listening region with notched noise increased thresholds for low modulation frequencies but not for high. This is consistent with other data showing that upward spread of excitation may increase the effective modulation depth, but only for low modulation frequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1799-1810
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

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