Relating binaural pitch perception to the individual listener's auditory profile

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The ability of eight normal-hearing listeners and fourteen listeners with sensorineural hearing loss to detect and identify pitch contours was measured for binaural-pitch stimuli and salience-matched monaurally detectable pitches. In an effort to determine whether impaired binaural pitch perception was linked to a specific deficit, the auditory profiles of the individual listeners were characterized using measures of loudness perception, cognitive ability, binaural processing, temporal fine structure processing, and frequency selectivity, in addition to common audiometric measures. Two of the listeners were found not to perceive binaural pitch at all, despite a clear detection of monaural pitch. While both binaural and monaural pitches were detectable by all other listeners, identification scores were significantly lower for binaural than for monaural pitch. A total absence of binaural pitch sensation coexisted with a loss of a binaural signal-detection advantage in noise, without implying reduced cognitive function. Auditory filter bandwidths did not correlate with the difference in pitch identification scores between binaural and monaural pitches. However, subjects with impaired binaural pitch perception showed deficits in temporal fine structure processing. Whether the observed deficits stemmed from peripheral or central mechanisms could not be resolved here, but the present findings may be useful for hearing loss characterization. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. []
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number4, Part 1
Pages (from-to)2968-2986
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • binaural pitch perception
  • binaural processing
  • binaural-pitch stimulus
  • cognitive ability
  • cognitive function
  • frequency selectivity
  • impaired binaural pitch perception
  • individual listeners auditory profile
  • loudness perception
  • pitch contour
  • salience-matched monaurally detectable pitch
  • temporal fine structure processing
  • sensorineural hearing loss Hearing Loss, Sensorineural (MeSH) nervous system disease, ear disease
  • Primates Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates) - Hominidae [86215] human common adult, aged, middle age female, male
  • 12502, Pathology - General
  • 20006, Sense organs - Pathology
  • 20506, Nervous system - Pathology
  • 24500, Gerontology
  • Human Medicine, Medical Sciences
  • audiometry clinical techniques, diagnostic techniques
  • Neurology
  • Otolaryngology


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