Detection and Discrimination of Masked Tones in Masking Release Conditions
Comodulated masking noise and binaural cues can enhance one's detection performance. Masking release describes such perceptual phenomena, and it can be quantified with a decreased detection threshold. However, few have investigated sound perception at supra-threshold levels in masking release conditions. Here, we used intensity just-noticeable difference (JND) to quantify intensity discrimination performance at supra-threshold levels in masking release conditions. We employed eight masking release conditions that reflect the preceding masker's effect on comodulation masking release (CMR) and masking release induced by binaural cues (binaural masking level difference, BMLD). The detection thresholds showed that the preceding masker either enhance or diminish CMR while it did not affect BMLD. From the intensity JND experiment results, we found that the discrimination performance was not affected by masking release conditions. The intensity JND was equal at the same level of the tone regardless of masker types, suggesting the intensity encoding of the tone exists additional to the encoding of enhanced detection performance and depends on the tone level rather than the overall level of tone in noise.