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Re: Effect of duration on pitch perception

One would think that the ear architecture is ideal for parallel processing in
the frequency domain. In that case, one would not expect f0 pitch to be
discriminated more slowly than pure-tone pitch due to the additional neural
processing. Rather, one could argue the converse. The complex f0 signal delivers
more information in parallel within a given time interval than the pure-tone
signal, so the discrimination should be faster.

William Treurniet

----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Braun" <nombraun@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 8:14 AM
Subject: Re: [AUDITORY] Effect of duration on pitch perception

There is a big difference between pure and complex tones, here. Pitch of the latter is discriminated much faster. For example, a pitch of a complex tone with a fundamental f0 = 100 Hz is perceived more than four times as fast as the pitch of a pure-tone of 100 Hz (Patterson et al., 1983). The probable reason is that cochlear and neural latencies decrease with frequency, which means that harmonics provide earlier periodicity information for the pitch detector than the fundamental.

[By the way, these results should have been the ultimate death for all place
and pattern theories of pitch, because these theories necessarily imply that
f0 pitch should be discriminated slower than pure-tone pitch, due to the
additional neural processing. Well, it's just one of the many examples in
hearing research, where progress has been impeded for decades by massive

Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm