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Exploiting individual differences to assess the role of place and phase locking cues in auditory frequency discrimination at 2 kHz.

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Moore, Brian CJ 


The relative role of place and temporal mechanisms in auditory frequency discrimination was assessed for a centre frequency of 2 kHz. Four measures of frequency discrimination were obtained for 63 normal-hearing participants: detection of frequency modulation using modulation rates of 2 Hz (FM2) and 20 Hz (FM20); detection of a change in frequency across successive pure tones (difference limen for frequency, DLF); and detection of changes in the temporal fine structure of bandpass filtered complex tones centred at 2 kHz (TFS). Previous work has suggested that: FM2 depends on the use of both temporal and place cues; FM20 depends primarily on the use of place cues because the temporal mechanism cannot track rapid changes in frequency; DLF depends primarily on temporal cues; TFS depends exclusively on temporal cues. This led to the following predicted patterns of the correlations of scores across participants: DLF and TFS should be highly correlated; FM2 should be correlated with DLF and TFS; FM20 should not be correlated with DLF or TFS. The results were broadly consistent with these predictions and with the idea that frequency discrimination at 2 kHz depends partly or primarily on temporal cues except for frequency modulation detection at a high rate.


Acknowledgements: We thank Hedwig Gockel and two reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Funder: Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet; doi:

Funder: NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology (incl St. Olavs Hospital - Trondheim University Hospital)


Humans, Individuality, Cues, Auditory Perception, Caffeine, Differential Threshold

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC