Modeling comodulation masking release using an equalization-cancellation mechanism

Tobias Piechowiak, Stephan D. Ewert, Torsten Dau

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This study presents an auditory processing model that accounts for the perceptual phenomenon of comodulation masking release (CMR). The model includes an equalization-cancellation (EC) stage for the processing of activity across the audio-frequency axis. The EC process across frequency takes place at the output of a modulation filterbank assumed for each audio-frequency channel. The model was evaluated in three experimental conditions: (i) CMR with four widely spaced flanking bands in order to study pure across-channel processing, (ii) CMR with one flanking band varying in frequency in order to study the transition between conditions dominated by within-channel processing and those dominated by across-channel processing, and (iii) CMR obtained in the "classical" band-widening paradigm in order to study the role of across-channel processing in a condition which always includes within-channel processing. The simulations support the hypothesis that within-channel contributions to CMR can be as large as 15 dB. The across-channel process is robust but small (about 2-4 dB) and only observable at small masker bandwidths. Overall, the proposed model might provide an interesting framework for the analysis of fluctuating sounds in the auditory system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)2111-2126
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2007) Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.


  • Mathematical models
  • Computer simulation
  • Frequency modulation
  • Acoustic fields
  • Bandwidth
  • Speech processing

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