Comodulation masking release (CMR) as a function of masker bandwidth, modulator bandwidth, and signal duration

J Acoust Soc Am. 1989 Jan;85(1):273-81. doi: 10.1121/1.397734.


These experiments examine how comodulation masking release (CMR) varies with masker bandwidth, modulator bandwidth, and signal duration. In experiment 1, thresholds were measured for a 400-ms, 2000-Hz signal masked by continuous noise varying in bandwidth from 50-3200 Hz in 1-oct steps. In one condition, using random noise maskers, thresholds increased with increasing bandwidth up to 400 Hz and then remained approximately constant. In another set of conditions, the masker was multiplied (amplitude modulated) by a low-pass noise (bandwidth varied from 12.5-400 Hz in 1-oct steps). This produced correlated envelope fluctuations across frequency. Thresholds were generally lower than for random noise maskers with the same bandwidth. For maskers less than one critical band wide, the release from masking was largest (about 5 dB) for maskers with low rates of modulation (12.5-Hz-wide low-pass modulator). It is argued that this release from masking is not a "true" CMR but results from a within-channel cue. For broadband maskers (greater than 400 Hz), the release from masking increased with increasing masker bandwidth and decreasing modulator bandwidth, reaching an asymptote of 12 dB for a masker bandwidth of 800 Hz and a modulator bandwidth of 50 Hz. Most of this release from masking can be attributed to a CMR. In experiment 2, the modulator bandwidth was fixed at 12.5 Hz and the signal duration was varied. For masker bandwidths greater than 400 Hz, the CMR decreased from 12 to 5 dB as the signal duration was decreased from 400 to 25 ms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Cues
  • Humans
  • Perceptual Masking / physiology*