1 Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Hearing Systems, Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Behavioral experiments using auditory masking have been used to characterize frequency selectivity, one of the basic properties of the auditory system. However, due to the nonlinear response of the basilar membrane, the interpretation of these experiments may not be straightforward. Specifically, there is evidence that human frequency-selectivity estimates depend on whether an iso-input or an iso-response measurement paradigm is used (Eustaquio-Martin et al., 2011). This study presents simulated tuning estimates using a simple compressive auditory filter model, the bandpass nonlinearity (BPNL), which consists of a compressor between two bandpass filters. The BPNL forms the basis of the dual-resonance nonlinear (DRNL) filter that has been used in a number of modeling studies. The location of the nonlinear element and its effect on estimated tuning in the two measurement paradigms was investigated. The results show that compression leads to (i) a narrower tuning estimate in the iso-response paradigm when a compressor precedes a filter, and (ii) a wider tuning estimate in the iso-input paradigm when a compressor follows a filter. The results imply that if the DRNL presents a valid cochlear model, then compression alone may explain a large part of the behaviorally observed differences in tuning between simultaneous and forward-masking conditions.