Energetic Masking and Masking Release
- 1.5k Downloads
Masking is of central interest in the cocktail party problem, because interfering voices may be sufficiently intense or numerous to mask the voice to which the listener is attending, rendering its discourse unintelligible. The definition of energetic masking is problematic, but it may be considered to consist of effects by which an interfering sound disrupts the processing of the speech signal in the lower levels of the auditory system. Maskers can affect speech intelligibility by overwhelming its representation on the auditory nerve and by obscuring its amplitude modulations. A release from energetic masking is obtained by using mechanisms at these lower levels that can recover a useful representation of the speech. These mechanisms can exploit differences between the target and masking speech such as in harmonic structure or in interaural time delay. They can also exploit short-term dips in masker strength or improvements in speech-to-masker ratio at one or other ear.
KeywordsBetter-ear listening Binaural unmasking Dip listening Equalization—cancelation Fundamental frequency difference Modulation masking Onset-time differences Spatial release from masking
Compliance with Ethics Requirements
John Culling has no conflicts of interest.
Michael Stone has no conflicts of interest.
- ANSI. (1997). ANSI S3.5-1997. Methods for the calculation of the speech intelligibility index. Washington, DC: American National Standards Institute.Google Scholar
- ANSI. (2013). ANSI S1.1-2013. Acoustical terminology. Washington, DC: American National Standard Institute.Google Scholar
- Bird, J., & Darwin, C. J. (1998). Effects of a difference in fundamental frequency in separating two sources. In A. R. Palmer, A. Rees, A. Q. Summerfield, & R. Meddis (Eds.), Psychophysical and physiological advances in hearing. London: Whurr.Google Scholar
- Bregman, A. S. (1990). Auditory scene analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Brokx, J. P., & Nooteboom, S. G. (1982). Intonation and the perceptual separation of simultaneous voices. Journal of Phonetics, 10, 23–36.Google Scholar
- Colburn, H. S., & Durlach, N. I. (1978). Models of binaural interaction. In E. C. Carterette (Ed.), Handbook of perception (Vol. IV, pp. 467–518). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Durlach, N. I. (1972). Binaural signal detection: Equalization and cancellation theory. In J. V. Tobias (Ed.), Foundations of modern auditory theory (Vol. II, p. 365462). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Kohlrausch, A., Fassel, R., van der Heijden, M., Kortekaas, R., et al. (1997). Detection of tones in low-noise noise: Further evidence for the role of envelope fluctuations. Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 83, 659–669.Google Scholar
- Scheffers, T. M. (1983). Sifting vowels: Auditory pitch analysis and sound segregation. Doctoral thesis, University of Groningen.Google Scholar
- Summerfield, Q., & Assmann, P. F. (1991). Perception of concurrent vowels: Effects of harmonic misalignment and pitch-period asynchrony. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 89, 1364–1377.Google Scholar
- von Helmholz, H. (1895). On the sensations of tone as a physiological basis for Theory of music. London: Longmans.Google Scholar