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Re: F0 difference limens for unresolved harmonics

Dear David,

Daniel Pressnitzer, Roy Patterson and I have conducted a series of
experiments some time ago, in which we investigated the lower limit of
pitch (LLP, or LLMP for lower limit of musical pitch) using (i) a melody
task and (ii) a pitch discrimination task (Pressnitzer et al., 2001,
Jasa 109 (5), 2074-2084; Krumbholz et al., 2000, Jasa 108 (3),
1170-1180). In those two papers we show that (i) pitch discrimination
threshold increases from about 1% for pitches above the LLP to about
5-6% for pitches below the LLP (for cosine-phase harmonic tones; the
discrimination threshold below the LLP depends on the nature of the
stimulus). We also show that, contrary to common belief, the LLP does
not actually correpond to the limit of spectral resolvability of
harmonics: In the low-frequency region, the LLP appears to be a TEMPORAL
rather than a SPECTRAL limit. Those two papers also contain a nice
review of the previous literature.

Daniel showed in his paper that the LLP can be modeled by the Meddis and
Hewitt temporal pitch model, and I showed in a paper in the ISH book
from 2001 that, unlike the temporal model, the optimum-processor
spectral pitch net (SPINET) model is unable to explain the LLP for
iterated rippled noises. I can send you pdfs/docs of those papers in a
separate e-mail, if you are interested.

Best wishes from Katrin

David Klein wrote:

The 1994 JASA 95(6):3529 article of Shackleton and Carlyon indicates that
the difference limen (DL) for the residue pitch (F0) of complex tones
comprised only of unresolved harmonics is about 3%.  This works out to be
about a half of a semitone.  Other similar data has been surprisingly
tricky to track down.  Is there a consensus on this ballpark F0 DL for an
unresolved harmonic complex?

Also, is there a consensus on the existence of two separate pitch
mechanisms? :-)

-- David Klein

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Dr. Katrin Krumbholz
MRC Institute of Hearing Research
University Park
Nottingham NG10 4NE

Phone: +44 (0)115 922 3431
Fax: +44 (0)115 951 8503

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