EAR ASYMMETRIES IN GAP DETECTION

  • David Epter
  • Ikaro Silva
  • LaTasha Fermin
  • Mary Florentine

Abstract

Some research suggests a right-ear advantage for the ability of normal listeners to detect brief gaps (pauses) in noise, whereas other research does not. This experiment uses a narrowband gap detection procedure to assess a possible right-ear advantage in two frequency regions (500 Hz and 4 kHz) using a cued yes-no method of maximum likelihood (MML). The gaps were carried by 786-ms noises set at 85 dB SPL and started at 250-ms after the onset of the noise. Thirty right-handed normal listeners were presented stimuli in mixed order in the presence of a band-stop masker to prevent audible cues from spectral splatter. There were no significant differences between the data from left and right ears at either frequency region as indicated by analysis of variance for repeated measures. Present results and data from the literature suggest that the type of stimulus plays a role in ear asymmetries in gap-detection tasks.

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