Listening experience with iterated rippled noise alters the perception of ‘pitch’ strength of complex sounds in the chinchilla

Shofner, W. P., Whitmer, W. M. and Yost, W. A. (2001) Listening experience with iterated rippled noise alters the perception of ‘pitch’ strength of complex sounds in the chinchilla. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118(5), pp. 3187-3197. (doi: 10.1121/1.2049107) (PMID:16334899)

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Behavioral responses obtained from chinchillas trained to discriminate a cosine-phase harmonic tone complex from wideband noise indicate that the perception of ‘pitch’ strength in chinchillas is largely influenced by periodicity information in the stimulus envelope. The perception of ‘pitch’ strength was examined in chinchillas in a stimulus generalization paradigm after animals had been retrained to discriminate infinitely iterated rippled noise from wideband noise. Retrained chinchillas gave larger behavioral responses to test stimuli having strong fine structure periodicity, but weak envelope periodicity. That is, chinchillas learn to use the information in the fine structure and consequently, their perception of ‘pitch’ strength is altered. Behavioral responses to rippled noises having similar periodicity strengths, but large spectral differences were also tested. Responses to these rippled noises were similar, suggesting a temporal analysis can be used to account for the behavior. Animals were then retested using the cosine-phase harmonic tone complex as the expected signal stimulus. Generalization gradients returned to those obtained originally in the naïve condition, suggesting that chinchillas do not remain “fine structure listeners,” but rather revert back to being “envelope listeners” when the periodicity strength in the envelope of the expected stimulus is high.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitmer, Dr William
Authors: Shofner, W. P., Whitmer, W. M., and Yost, W. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Publisher:Acoustical Society of America
ISSN (Online):1520-8524
Published Online:01 October 2005

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