Profiling the perceptual suppression of partials in periodic complex tones: Further evidence for a harmonic template

J M Brunstrom, B Roberts

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The basis for the perceptual cohesion of periodic complex tones was investigated. In experiment 1, 2-4 consecutive components (harmonics 6 and above) were removed from a 14-harmonic complex and replaced with a sinusoidal "probe," located at one of a set of regularly spaced positions spanning the gap; On each trial, subjects heard a complex tone followed by an adjustable pure tone in a continuous loop. Subjects were better able to match the pure tone to the probe when the probe did not coincide with a harmonic position. Minima in "hit rate" were more pronounced when harmonic probes were in positions adjacent tb other harmonics than when they were not. These findings suggest that the pitch of each in-tune partial was actively suppressed by a template whose influence attenuated with distance from regions of consecutive harmonics. In experiment 2, the partials on either side of the spectral gap were harmonics of different fundamental frequencies. Hit-rate minima corresponding to both fundamentals were found, indicating an upward and downward spread of suppression, and also demonstrating the concurrent operation of two templates. The results confirm recent findings in support of template models, and are consistent with the idea that partial-pitch suppression underpins harmonic fusion. (C) 1998 Acoustical Society of America. [S0001-4966(98)05812-3].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3511-3519
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998

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