Intensity and frequency resolution: Masking of absolute identification and fixed and roving discrimination

Shuji Mori, Lawrence M. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Auditory intensity and frequency resolution were studied in three paradigms under masking conditions. Absolute identifications of single stimuli (one-interval paradigm) and 2IFC judgments of fixed- and roving-level pairs of stimuli (two-interval paradigm) were obtained from the same experienced observers. Judgments were made under optimal (no mask) conditions, in the presence of a broadband noise mask (simultaneous mask), and when the stimulus(i) to be judged were either preceded (forward mask) or followed (backward mask) by a broadband noise mask. Substantial masking of intensity resolution was found in all mask conditions. Only a simultaneous mask affected frequency resolution. In the no mask condition, performance was best for fixed-level (or frequency) 2IFC discrimination, followed by roving-level (frequency) 2IFC, and finally absolute identification. These differences were maintained under masking for frequency resolution, but not for intensity resolution. The results are discussed in terms of the Braida and Durlach (1988) model of intensity resolution. A similar model is suggested for frequency resolution with differences suggested by the differences in neural coding of sound intensity and frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-255
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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