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January 2022

Regularity of spectral pattern and its effects on the perceptual fusion of harmonics

Author(s): Bailey, P. J.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 1996; 58: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 289-299.

Abstract: A single even harmonic added to an odd-harmonic complex may be judged as perceptually more salient than the odd harmonics themselves (Roberts & Bregman, 1991). It is proposed that this effect occurs because the even harmonic is inconsistent with the regular spectral pattern formed by the odd-harmonic complex (the base). Therefore, a reduction in the regularity of the base spectrum should reduce the even-odd difference. Spectral regularity was reduced either by removing base components, or by including components in the base that were inconsistent with its original pattern. Subjects listened to (primarily) harmonic complex tones and rated the clarity of one of the harmonics, cued by a preceding pure tone. Both removing components from the base and including extraneous components in the base reduced the even-odd difference. The results suggest that it is easier to segregate a harmonic from a periodic complex tone when it does not form part of the regular pattern of spectral spacing defined by the other harmonics.

Note: Article B Roberts, Univ Birmingham, Sch Psychol, Birmingham B15 2TT, W Midlands, England


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