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Re: context sounds and pitch discrimination thresholds

Dear Marion,

 I've explored this question in detail using a paradigm in which two tones are compared for pitch, and these are separated by a series of intervening tones that the subject can ignore. Repetition of the standard tone results in considerably enhanced performance, and this depends on the serial position of the repeated tone.

 Below are some references– I hope the links work, and if not I’d be happy to send you PDFs. 

Deutsch, D. Dislocation of Tones in a Musical Sequence: a Memory Illusion. Nature, 1970, 226, 286, [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. Effect of Repetition of Standard and Comparison Tones on Recognition Memory for Pitch. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1972, 93, 156-162, [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. Mapping of Interactions in the Pitch Memory Store. Science, 1972, 175, 1020-1022, [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. The organization of short term memory for a single acoustic attribute. In D. Deutsch and J. A. Deutsch (Eds.). Short Term Memory, 1975, 107-151, New York: Academic Press. [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. & Feroe, J. Disinhibition in pitch memory. Perception & Psychophysics, 1975, 17, 320-324, [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. Facilitation by repetition in recognition memory for tonal pitch. Memory and Cognition, 1975, 3, 263-266, [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. Processing of pitch combinations. In D. Deutsch (Ed.). The psychology of music, 2nd Edition, 1999, 349-412, Academic Press. [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. Memory for auditory information. In Squire, L. R. and N. Butters (Eds.). Neuropsychology of Memory, 1984, 45-54, The Guiford Press. [PDF Document]



Professor Diana Deutsch
Department of Psychology                          
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. #0109            
La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA

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On Oct 4, 2011, at 11:08 AM, Marion Cousineau wrote:

Dear list,

I am interested in looking at the effect of precursor
sounds on pitch discrimination thresholds.
That is somehow looking at the effect of context sounds,
but I am NOT talking about tonal context.

An example would be comparing thresholds obtained with a
standard 2I-2AFC, with thresholds obtained with the same
procedure but where each trial is preceded by two repetitions
of the reference, for instance.
The underlying question is whether or not a repetition of the
reference (or another sound close in pitch) can sharpen the
internal representation of the following test sounds.

I haven't been able to find papers where this kind of effects were
investigated, and was wondering if some of you knew about and
could point me to existing data on that matter.