Auditory memory for timbre
Psychophysical studies are reported examining how the context of recent auditory stimulation may modulate the processing of new sounds. The question posed is how recent tone stimulation may affect ongoing performance in a discrimination task. In the task, two complex sounds occurred in successive intervals. A single target component of one complex was decreased (Experiments 1 and 2) or increased (Experiments 3, 4, and 5) in intensity on half of trials: The task was simply to identify those trials. Prior to each trial, a pure tone inducer was introduced either at the same frequency as the target component or at the frequency of a different component of the complex. Consistent with a frequency-specific form of disruption, discrimination performance was impaired when the inducing tone matched the frequency of the following decrement or increment. A timbre memory model (TMM) is proposed incorporating channel-specific interference allied to inhibition of attending in the coding of sounds in the context of memory traces of recent sounds.