Assessing mechanisms of frequency discrimination by comparison of different measures over a wide frequency range
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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It has been hypothesized that auditory detection of frequency modulation (FM) for low FM rates depends on the use of both temporal (phase locking) and place cues, depending on the carrier frequency, while detection of FM at high rates depends primarily on the use of place cues. To test this, FM detection for 2 and 20 Hz rates was measured over a wide frequency range, 1–10 kHz, including high frequencies for which temporal cues are assumed to be very weak. Performance was measured over the same frequency range for a task involving detection of changes in the temporal fine structure (TFS) of bandpass filtered complex tones, for which performance is assumed to depend primarily on the use of temporal cues. FM thresholds were better for the 2- than for the 20-Hz rate for center frequencies up to 4 kHz, while the reverse was true for higher center frequencies. For both FM rates, the thresholds, expressed as a proportion of the center frequency, were roughly constant for center frequencies from 6 to 10 Hz, consistent with the use of place cues. For the TFS task, thresholds worsened progressively with increasing frequency above 4 kHz, consistent with the weakening of temporal cues.