Frequency discrimination of stylized synthetic vowels with a single formant

J Lyzenga, JW Horst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Just-noticeable differences (jnd's) in the center frequency of bandlimited harmonic complexes were measured for normal-hearing subjects. A triangular and a rounded spectral envelope were used. The center frequency ranged from 500 to 600 Hz in a region representing the first formant of vowels, and from 2000 to 2100 Hz in a second formant region. The slope of the spectral envelope was either 50 or 100 dB/oct for the first formant region and 100 or 200 dB/oct for the second formant region. For the fundamental frequency of the complexes 100 and 200 Hz were used. The jnd's were determined for various phase relations between the individual components of the complexes. For comparison we also determined jnd's for a Gaussian white noise that was filtered with the same spectral envelopes as the harmonic complexes. A three-interval, three-alternative forced-choice task was used. All measurements were performed with roving stimulus level. The jnd's found for center frequencies that were halfway between two harmonics were smaller than those found for center frequencies that coincided with a harmonic. The jnd's for the noise bands were mostly between those of the two aforementioned groups. Except for a small group of stimuli, the phase relations had little effect on the jnd's. The majority of the results for both the harmonic and the noise band stimuli can be described by a model using a spectral profile comparison. Most of the remaining data can be explained in the temporal domain from changes in the temporal envelope of the stimuli. (C) 1997 Acoustical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1767
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-1997



Cite this