Sound source segregation by goldfish: Two simultaneous tones

  • Fay R
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Abstract

The perception of two simultaneous tones was investigated in goldfish using classical respiratory conditioning and a stimulus generalization paradigm. Pairs of tones were used to make up a mixture of 150 Hz and a higher harmonic or a mistuned harmonic. Fish were conditioned to the two-tone mixture and then tested for generalization to several pure tones. The simultaneous tones tended to be segregated in perception, with the generalization gradient for single tones having two peaks corresponding to the frequencies of the tone pairs. There were no consistent differences in the generalization gradients following conditioning to harmonic or inharmonic tone pairs. In addition, experiments were carried out in which the two tones of the pair were heard on alternate trials, always as single tones, followed by generalization tests to single tones. There was more generalization in this experiment, reflecting the fact that conditioning and generalization test stimuli were both single tones. However, the shapes of the generalization gradients were similar to those in which fish were conditioned to two simultaneous tones, indicating that the simultaneity of the tones did not make them harder to segregate. As the frequency separation between the two components narrowed, segregation tended to fail.

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Authors

  • Richard R. Fay

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