Dual temporal pitch percepts from acoustic and electric amplitude- modulated pulse trains

Colette M. McKay, Robert P. Carlyon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Two experiments examined the perception of unmodulated and amplitude- modulated pulse trains by normally heating listeners and cochlear implantees. Four normally hearing subjects listened to acoustic pulse trains, which were band-pass filtered between 3.9 and 5.3 kHz. Four cochlear implantees, all postlinguistically deaf users of the Mini System 22 implant, listened to current pulse trains produced at a single electrode position. In the first experiment, a set of nine loudness-balanced unmodulated stimuli with rates between 60 and 300 Hz were presented in a multidimensional scaling task. The resultant stimulus spaces for both subject groups showed a single dimension associated with the rate of the stimuli. In the second experiment, a set of ten loudness-balanced modulated stimuli was constructed, with carrier rates between 140 and 300 Hz, and modulation rates between 60 and 150 Hz. The modulation rates were integer submultiples of the carrier rates, and each modulation period consisted of one higher-intensity pulse and one or more identical lower-intensity pulses. The modulation depth of each stimulus was adjusted so that its pitch was judged to be higher or lower 50% of the time than that of an unmodulated pulse train having a rate equal to the geometric mean of the carrier and modulation rates. A multidimensional scaling task with these ten stimuli resulted in two-dimensional stimulus spaces, with dimensions corresponding to carrier and modulation rates. A further investigation with one normally heating subject showed that the perceptual weighting of the two dimensions varied systematically with modulation depth. It was concluded that, when filtered appropriately, acoustic pulse trains can be used to produce percepts in normal listeners that share common features with those experienced by subjects listening through one channel of a cochlear implant, and that the central auditory system can extract two temporal patterns arising from the same cochlear location.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-357
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


    • Acoustics
    • Adult
    • Cochlear Implantation
    • methods: Electric Stimulation
    • Electrodes
    • physiology: Hearing
    • Humans
    • Middle Aged
    • physiology: Pitch Perception
    • Time Factors


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