Pitch of amplitude-modulated irregular-rate stimuli in acoustic and electric hearing

  • van Wieringen A
  • Carlyon R
  • Long C
 et al. 
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The pitch of stimuli was studied under conditions where place-of-excitation was held constant, and where pitch was therefore derived from "purely temporal" cues. In experiment 1, the acoustical and electrical pulse trains consisted of pulses whose amplitudes alternated between a high and a low value, and whose interpulse intervals alternated between 4 and 6 ms. The attenuated pulses occurred after the 4-ms intervals in condition A, and after the 6-ms intervals in condition B. For both normal-hearing subjects and cochlear implantees, the period of an isochronous pulse train equal in pitch to this "4-6" stimulus increased from near 6 ms at the smallest modulation depth to nearly 10 ms at the largest depth. Additionally, the modulated pulse trains in condition A were perceived as being lower in pitch than those in condition B. Data are interpreted in terms of increased refractoriness in condition A, where the larger pulses are more closely followed by the smaller ones than in condition B. Consistent with this conclusion, the A-B difference was reduced at longer interpulse intervals. These findings provide a measure of supra-threshold effects of refractoriness on pitch perception, and increase our understanding of coding of temporal information in cochlear implant speech processing schemes.

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  • Astrid van Wieringen

  • Robert P. Carlyon

  • Christopher J. Long

  • Jan Wouters

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