Spatial Release from Masking (SRM) was measured for identification of a female target word spoken in the presence of male masker words. Target words from a single loudspeaker located at midline were presented when two, four, or six masker words were presented either from the same source as the target or from spatially separated masker sources. All masker words were presented from loudspeakers located symmetrically around the centered target source in the front azimuth hemifield. Three masking conditions were employed: speech-in-speech masking (involving both informational and energetic masking), speech-in-noise masking (involving energetic masking), and filtered speech-in-filtered speech masking (involving informational masking). Psychophysical results were summarized as three-point psychometric functions relating proportion of correct word identification to target-to-masker ratio (in decibels) for both the co-located and spatially separated target and masker sources cases. SRM was then calculated by comparing the slopes and intercepts of these functions. SRM decreased as the number of symmetrically placed masker sources increased from two to six. This decrease was independent of the type of masking, with almost no SRM measured for six masker sources. These results suggest that when SRM is dependent primarily on binaural processing, SRM is effectively limited to fewer than six sound sources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics