Edge pitch of harmonic complex tones

A.G. Kohlrausch, A.J.M. Houtsma

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Harmonic complex tones with a flat spectrum can produce pitch sensations related to the frequencies of the lowest and the highest components. We studied the edge pitch created at the upper spectral edge of complexes with a low-pass spectrum by asking subjects to adjust the frequency of a sinusoidal comparison tone to the perceived pitch. Measurements were performed for different values of the fundamental frequency and of the upper frequency of the complex as well as for three different phase relations of the harmonic components. For a wide range of these parameters the subjects could adjust the comparison tone with a high degree of accuracy, measured as the standard deviation of repeated adjustments, to a frequency close to the nominal edge frequency. The detailed dependence of the matching accuracy on temporal parameters of the harmonic complexes suggests that the perception of the edge pitch in harmonic signals is related to the temporal resolution of the hearing system. This resolution depends primarily on the time constants of basilar-membrane filters and on additional limitations due to neural processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalIPO Annual Progress Report
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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