Effect of component-relative-entropy on the discrimination of simultaneous tone complexes

Robert A. Lutfi, Karen A. Doherty

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12 Scopus citations


Results are reported from a number of experiments investigating the effects of stimulus uncertainty on the discrimination of simultaneous multitone complexes. With few exceptions the data were well described by a model in which average threshold for the detection of a change in one or more components varies with the components’ relative entropy (CoRE) in the complex [R. A. Lutfi, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 94, 748-758 (1993)]. In different experiments, thresholds for the detection of a change in target level were found to be linearly related to CoRE for manipulations in the number of targets, the number of context tones, and the relative degree of level perturbation on tones from trial to trial. The slopes of the functions did not change with measures taken at different points on the psychometric function, and in most cases were close to the theoretical value of b=-1.0, as predicted by strict application of the model. Also as predicted (but for the exception of one listener) increasing the level of the target beyond that of the context had little or no effect on threshold. A correlational analysis of the trial-by-trial data revealed a tendency of listeners to give negative weight to frequencies immediately above the target, and to adjust weights in response to changes in the relative degree of level perturbation. Though inconsistent with the basic premise of the model, the variation in weights was not so great as to materially affect the predictions for mean thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3443-3450
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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