Modulation Detection Interference: Across-frequency processing and auditory grouping

William A. Yost, Stanley Sheft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Modulation Detection Interference (MDI) is the loss of sensitivity in processing amplitude modulation of a probe tone when a masker is similarly modulated. MDI was measured in four experiments to investigate two past claims concerning MDI: 1) That MDI represents across-spectral processing, and 2) that MDI is the consequence of the auditory system using common patterns of amplitude modulation to group spectral components into a single auditory source. Experiment I studied MDI when the envelope phase of the masker and probe modulators were different and was used to address the issue of the extent to which MDI is a consequence of spectral grouping based on common amplitude modulation. Measures of MDI for conditions in which the frequency separation between the probe and masker carriers was varied (Experiment II), estimates of modulation depth discrimination (Experiment III), and signal detection thresholds for brief sinusoidal signals masked by amplitude modulated tones (Experiment IV) were all used to address issues related to across-spectral processing of amplitude modulation. The conclusions of these studies is that MDI is largely an across-frequency phenomenon and that the role of auditory grouping based on a common pattern of modulation can not be ruled out as having a relationship to MDI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Across-spectral processing
  • Amplitude modulation
  • Modulation Detection Interference
  • Sound source determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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