OBTAINING THE LOUDNESS EXPONENT FROM BINAURAL AUDITORY ADAPTATION DATA

  • Kenneth H. Norwich
  • Lisa M. D'Alessandro

Abstract

The loudness of a stimulus, L, is related to the intensity of that stimulus,φ, by Stevens' Power Law, L = Kφ^n, where K is an arbitrary scaling constant and n is the loudness exponent. The exponent, n, has been measured extensively by psychophysicists usually by magnitude estimation. We devised a new method for obtaining n from experiments using the SDLB (simultaneous dichotic loudness balance) technique. That is, we presented a 6-min continuous tone to a participant's adapting ear. At 1-min intervals, participants adjusted the intensity of the tone in the contralateral control ear until both tones sounded equally loud. We used the control ear, which was otherwise retained in silence, to measure the progressive adaptation in the adapting ear. The value of n may be estimated by dividing the number of decibels of adaptation at 6 minutes (near equilibrium) by the intensity of the continuous tone in dB SL.

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