Rhythmic Masking Release
AbstractThe rhythm created by spacing a series of brief tones in a regular pattern can be disguised by interleaving identical distractors at irregular intervals. The disguised rhythm can be unmasked if the distractors are allocated to a separate stream from the rhythm by integration with temporally overlapping captors. Listeners identified which of 2 rhythms was presented, and the accuracy and rated clarity of their judgment was used to estimate the fusion of the distractors and captors. The extent of fusion depended primarily on onset asynchrony and degree of temporal overlap. Harmonic relations had some influence, but only an extreme difference in spatial location was effective (dichotic presentation). Both preattentive and attentionally driven processes governed performance.