Induced loudness reduction as a function of frequency difference between test tone and inducer

Percept Psychophys. 2008 May;70(4):725-31. doi: 10.3758/pp.70.4.725.


When a high-intensity tone (inducer) is followed by a moderate-intensity tone (test tone), the loudness of the latter is reduced. This phenomenon, called induced loudness reduction (ILR), depends on the frequency separation of the two tones; as the difference in frequency increases, the amount of ILR decreases. However, the precise course of this decrease is not well known. This article presents two experiments that address this question. In the first experiment, the amount of loudness reduction produced by a 2.5-kHz 80-dB-SPL inducer was measured with the frequency of the test tone swept from 800 Hz to 6 kHz. In the second experiment, the amount of ILR was measured with the same inducer and with test tones set at 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 kHz. Both experiments show that some ILR occurs at frequency separations as wide as four critical bands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics / instrumentation
  • Auditory Perception
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception*
  • Psychoacoustics