Effect of harmonic rank on the streaming of complex tones
The effect of the rank of the harmonics on sequential stream segregation of complex tones was investigated for normal-hearing participants with no musical training. It was hypothesized that stream segregation would be greater for tones with high pitch salience, as assessed by fundamental frequency (f0) difference limens. Pitch salience is highest for tones containing some low (resolved) harmonics, but is also fairly high for tones containing harmonics of intermediate rank. The tones were bandpass filtered between 2 and 4 kHz and harmonic rank was varied by changing the f0. There was a significant trend for less stream segregation with increasing harmonic rank. The amount of stream segregation was inversely correlated with the f0 difference limens, consistent with the hypothesis.
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