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Re: Lower frequency limit for pitch perception

Dear Paul,

Using repeated gaussian noises as stimuli, Warren has described the
perceptual characteristics of various repetition rates.  While repetition
can be heard down to about 0.5 Hz, pitch was absent below 20 Hz.  It is
noted that these boundaries are not discrete transitions.

The repeated frozen noise segments were intended to be 'generic' or 'model'
stimuli capable of revealing general properties of pitch perception, and
lacking additional properties which may affect the pitch of other stimuli.

see R.M. Warren's book on Auditory Perception (1999, Cambridge Press) and
references there.


At 01:15 PM 4/26/00 -0700, you wrote:
>Below a certain frequency, periodic sounds are no longer perceived as
having pitch; instead, they have a rough or pulsating quality (these are
probably not the right words). But where exactly is this lower boundary for
pitch perception, and on what signal qualities (besides frequency) does it
depend? I'm guessing the threshold for simple tones is about 25 Hz, but
maybe it's different for complex tones? In any case, it would be nice to
know what the research literature has to say.
>I've looked in a few standard reference books (Moore, Yost & Nielsen,
Handel), and searched PsychINFO, but have had no luck -- possibly because I
don't know the proper keyword.
>Paul von Hippel

Eric W. Healy, Ph.D.
Dept of Speech & Hearing Science             E-Mail: ewh@asu.edu
Arizona State University                     Voice: (480) 965-0947
PO Box 871908                                Fax:   (480) 965-0965
Tempe, AZ  85287-1908