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Re: Get lost, Mr. Cochlea!! --- The Brain (Jont Allen )

We generally talk about two types of masking, energetic and informational.
The former is the sort of masking that Jont is talking about and is
probably dominated by what happens in the periphery.  The later form
of masking is more complex and is clearly central.  For example, we
often think of the auditory perhiphery as a bank of bandpass filters.
It therefore comes as no surprise that a probe tone can be masked
by a second tone that is close in frequency.  This would be an
example of energetic masking.  There are other situations where
a probe tone can be masked by tones at frequencies well removed
from that of the probe tone, a result that would not be expected if
the listener just could just attend to the output of a single
peripheral filter tuned to the probe tone, hence we would call
this informational masking.  One of the most striking examples
of informational masking that I've heard is with the type
of stimuli used by Kidd et. al. (1994, J Acoust Soc Am 95:3475-80).


David C. Mountain, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Boston University
44 Cummington St.
Boston, MA 02215

Email:   dcm@bu.edu
Website: http://earlab.bu.edu/dcm/
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