The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America vol:112 issue:2 pages:621-33
Two experiments investigated pitch perception for stimuli where the place of excitation was held constant. Experiment 1 used pulse trains in which the interpulse interval alternated between 4 and 6 ms. In experiment 1a these "4-6" pulse trains were bandpass filtered between 3900 and 5300 Hz and presented acoustically against a noise background to normal listeners. The rate of an isochronous pulse train (in which all the interpulse intervals were equal) was adjusted so that its pitch matched that of the "4-6" stimulus. The pitch matches were distributed unimodally, had a mean of 5.7 ms, and never corresponded to either 4 or to 10 ms (the period of the stimulus). In experiment 1b the pulse trains were presented both acoustically to normal listeners and electrically to users of the LAURA cochlear implant, via a single channel of their device. A forced-choice procedure was used to measure psychometric functions, in which subjects judged whether the 4-6 stimulus was higher or lower in pitch than isochronous pulse trains having periods of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 ms. For both groups of listeners, the point of subjective equality corresponded to a period of 5.6 to 5.7 ms. Experiment 1c confirmed that these psychometric functions were monotonic over the range 4-12 ms. In experiment 2, normal listeners adjusted the rate of an isochronous filtered pulse train to match the pitch of mixtures of pulse trains having rates of F1 and F2 Hz, passed through the same bandpass filter (3900-5400 Hz). The ratio F2/F1 was 1.29 and F1 was either 70, 92, 109, or 124 Hz. Matches were always close to F2 Hz. It is concluded that the results of both experiments are inconsistent with models of pitch perception which rely on higher-order intervals. Together with those of other published data on purely temporal pitch perception, the data are consistent with a model in which only first-order interpulse intervals contribute to pitch, and in which, over the range 0-12 ms, longer intervals receive higher weights than short intervals.