The threshold for detecting amplitude modulation (AM) of a sinusoidal or noise carrier is elevated when the signal AM is preceded by masker AM applied to the same carrier. This effect, called AM forward masking, shows selectivity in the AM domain, consistent with the existence of a modulation filter bank (MFB). In this paper we explore the effect of two factors that can influence AM forward masking, using an 8-kHz sinusoidal carrier and a range of masker AM frequencies, f, both below and above the signal AM frequency, f, of 40 Hz. The first factor was the time delay, t, between the end of the masker AM and the start of the signal AM. The second was the AM depth, m, of the masker, which was either 1 or 0.25. The AM forward masking patterns in all conditions showed tuning in the AM domain; signal thresholds were highest when f was close to f. The amount of AM forward masking decreased with increasing t in a similar way for all f, so the shapes of the masking patterns did not change markedly with t. Remarkably, the amount of AM forward masking decreased by only about 3 dB (a non-significant effect) when the masker m was decreased from 1 to 0.25. This result appears to be inconsistent with an explanation of AM forward masking in terms of adaptation in a MFB or in terms of a sliding temporal integrator.Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Brian C J Moore