ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

4pPPa14. Efficiency of analytic versus synthetic listening in spectral pattern discrimination.

Karen A. Doherty

Robert A. Lutfi

Dept. of Commun. Disord. and Waisman Ctr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

Experiments on auditory pattern discrimination generally fall into two categories: those that require the listener to selectively attend to a single element of an acoustic pattern (analytic), and those that require the listener to combine information from multiple elements of the pattern (synthetic). In the present study, numerical estimates were made of the relative efficiency of analytic and synthetic listening strategies in a spectral pattern discrimination task. The stimuli were multitone complexes comprised of the six octave frequencies from 250--8000 Hz. In the analytic listening condition, the signal was an increment in the level of one of the six tones (250, 1000, or 4000 Hz in different trial blocks). In the synthetic listening condition, the signal was an increment in the level of all six tones. The levels of the individual tones were also randomly perturbed from trial to trial to permit efficiency estimates of the listening strategies using a COSS analysis [B. G. Berg, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 88, 149--158 (1990)]. Results from 12 listeners in the 2IFC procedure suggest that analytic listening poses a greater challenge to listeners in spectral pattern discrimination tasks than does synthetic listening. [Work supported by NIDCD.]