The relation between the human frequency following response and the low pitch of complex tones

Ron D. Chambers, Lawrence L. Feth, Edward M. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relation between the auditory brain stem potential called the frequency following response (FFR) and the low pitch of complex tones was investigated. Eleven complex stimuli were synthesized such that frequency content varied but waveform envelope periodicity was constant. This was accomplished by repeatedly shifting the components of a harmonic complex tone upward in frequency by Δf of 20 Hz, producing a series of six component inharmonic complex tones with constant intercomponent spacing of 200 Hz. Pitch shift functions were derived from pitch matches for these stimuli to a comparison pure tone for each of four normal hearing adults with extensive musical training. The FFRs were recorded for the complex stimuli that were judged most divergent in pitch by each subject and for pure tone signals that were judged equal in pitch to these complex stimuli. Spectral analyses suggested that the spectral content of the FFRs elicited by the complex stimuli did not vary consistently with component frequency or the first effect of pitch shift. Furthermore, complex and pure tone • signals judged equal in pitch did not elicit FFRs of similar spectral content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1680
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume80
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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