Nonlinear Cochlear Signal Processing and Masking in Speech Perception

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


auditorymasking There are many neuralmaskingdynamic masking classes of masking, but two major classes are easily defined: neural masking and dynamic masking. Neural masking characterizes the internal noise associated with the neural representation of the auditory signal, a form of loudness noise. Dynamic masking is strictly cochlear, and is associated with cochlear outer-hair-cell processing. This form is responsible for dynamic nonlinear cochlear gain changes associated with sensorineural hearing loss, the upward spread of masking, two-tone suppression and forward masking. The impact of these various forms of masking are critical to our understanding of speech and music processing. In this review, the details of what nonlinear cochleabasilar membrane (BM)signal processing we know about nonlinear cochlear and basilar membrane signal processing is reviewed, and the implications of neural masking is modeled, with a comprehensive historical review of the masking literature. This review is appropriate for a series of graduate lectures on nonlinear cochlear speech and music processing, from an auditory point of view.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbooks
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameSpringer Handbooks
ISSN (Print)2522-8692
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8706


  • Basilar Membrane
  • Critical Band
  • Hair Cell
  • Just Noticeable Difference
  • Outer Hair Cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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