Monaural vs diotic stimulus presentation ("Susan E. Hall" )

Subject: Monaural vs diotic stimulus presentation
From:    "Susan E. Hall"  <susanhal(at)IS.DAL.CA>
Date:    Fri, 4 May 2001 14:44:30 -0300

When designing a psychophysical study of a monaural phenomenon, that is, one in which binaural information does not play a part, I've noticed that almost everyone presents their (headphone) stimuli monaurally. I was wondering if anyone can give me good reasons for not presenting the stimuli diotically, that is, the same stimulus presented to both headphone channels. Specifically, I'm designing a study on temporal gap detection, using noise markers of various bandwidths. I'm interested in relative performance as a function of the noise marker composition. So, if the absolute gap detection thresholds across the board were lower with diotic than monaural presentation, due to some sort of summation effect, it wouldn't matter to me. The reason I even ask, is that for the subjects, listening to a midline intracranial sound image is SO much more comfortable than listening to sounds at one ear. When you're asking subjects to make tens of thousands of judgements, this actually becomes an issue. If there were no theoretical reason for sticking to monaural stimulus presentation, then I would like to present the stimuli diotically, but I want to be sure I'm not creating a problem with this first. Thanks! Susan Hall Dalhousie University

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