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Can dichotic pitches form two streams?
Akeroyd, M.A., CARLYON, R.P. & DEEKS, J.M.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118(2), 977-981
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The phenomenon of auditory streaming reflects the perceptual organization of sounds over time. A series of ‘A’ and ‘B’ tones, presented in a repeating ‘ABA-ABA’ sequence, may be perceived as one ‘galloping’ stream or as two separate streams, depending on the presentation rate and the A-B frequency separation. The present experiment examined whether streaming occurs for sequences of ‘Huggins pitches’, for which the percepts of pitch are derived from the binaural processing of a sharp transition in interaural phase in an otherwise diotic noise. Ten-second ‘ABA’ sequences were presented to eight normal-hearing listeners for two types of stimuli: Huggins-pitch stimuli with interaural phase transitions centered on frequencies between 400 and 800 Hz, or partially-masked diotic tones-in-noise, acting as controls. Listeners indicated, throughout the sequence, the number of streams perceived. The results showed that, for both Huggins-pitch stimuli and tones-in-noise, two streams were often reported. In both cases, the amount of streaming built up over time, and depended on the frequency separation between the A and B tones. These results provide evidence that streaming can occur between stimuli whose pitch percept is derived binaurally. They are inconsistent with models of streaming based solely on differences in the monaural excitation pattern.