Masking Patterns and Lateral Inhibition

  • T. Houtgast
Part of the Communication and Cybernetics book series (COMMUNICATION, volume 8)


The main issue of this contribution is a comparison among several types of psychophysical masking patterns in the light of one specific electrophysiological “fact” about the neural coding of a masker’s sound spectrum, namely lateral inhibition. Masking experiments were performed in a number of different ways, in which the temporal presentation of masker and test tone was a main variable. We essentially found two types of results: one type, in those cases where the test tone was superimposed on the masker (direct masking), which consistently shows no effects related to lateral inhibition, and a second type, when masker and test tone were presented nonsimultaneously (e.g., forward masking), which consistently does show effects related to lateral inhibition. Thus, it would appear that only this latter type of masking pattern is closely related to the neural coding of a masker’s sound spectrum.


Lateral Inhibition Hearing Threshold Mask Pattern Noise Band Test Tone 
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Copyright information

© Spinger-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Houtgast
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Perception TNOSoesterbergThe Netherlands

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