Informational masking of monaural target speech by a single contralateral formant

Brian Roberts, Robert J. Summers

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract

Abstract

Recent research suggests that the ability of an extraneous formant to impair intelligibility depends on the variation of its frequency contour. This idea was explored using a method that ensures interference cannot occur through energetic masking. Three-formant (F1+F2+F3) analogues of natural sentences were synthesized using a monotonous periodic source. Target formants were presented monaurally, with the target ear assigned randomly on each trial. A competitor for F2 (F2C) was presented contralaterally; listeners must reject F2C to optimize recognition. In experiment 1, F2Cs with various frequency and amplitude contours were used. F2Cs with time-varying frequency contours were effective competitors; constant-frequency F2Cs had far less impact. To a lesser extent, amplitude contour also influenced competitor impact; this effect was additive. In experiment 2, F2Cs were created by inverting the F2 frequency contour about its geometric mean and varying its depth of variation over a range from constant to twice the original (0%-200%). The impact on intelligibility was least for constant F2Cs and increased up to ∼100% depth, but little thereafter. The effect of an extraneous formant depends primarily on its frequency contour; interference increases as the depth of variation is increased until the range exceeds that typical for F2 in natural speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2435
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume137
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding: ESRC

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    Informational masking of monaural target speech by a single contralateral formant

    Roberts, B. & Summers, R. J., May 2015, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 137, 5, p. 2726-2736 11 p.

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