Abstract

Tervaniemi, M., Schröger, E., Saher, M., & Näätänen, R. (2000). Effects of spectral complexity and sound duration on automatic complex-sound pitch processing in humans - a mismatch negativity study. Neuroscience Letters, 290(1), 66-70.

Effects of spectral complexity and sound duration on automatic complex-sound pitch processing in humans - a mismatch negativity study

The pitch of a spectrally rich sound is known to be more easily perceived than that of a sinusoidal tone. The present study compared the importance of spectral complexity and sound duration in facilitated pitch discrimination. The mismatch negativity (MMN), which reflects automatic neural discrimination, was recorded to a 2. 5% pitch change in pure tones with only one sinusoidal frequency component (500 Hz) and in spectrally rich tones with three (500-1500 Hz) and five (500-2500 Hz) harmonic partials. During the recordings, subjects concentrated on watching a silent movie. In separate blocks, stimuli were of 100 and 250 ms in duration. The MMN amplitude was enhanced with both spectrally rich sounds when compared with pure tones. The prolonged sound duration did not significantly enhance the MMN. This suggests that increased spectral rather than temporal information facilitates pitch processing of spectrally rich sounds.



Contact

Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig

Secretariat

Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Dorit Thieme
Phone: +49 341 97-39540
Email: d dot thieme at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271