Effects of cochlear impairment and equivalent-threshold masking on psychoacoustic tuning curves.Audiology. 1992; 31(5):241-53.A
Psychoacoustic tuning curves in simultaneous masking were measured in three groups: listeners with hearing impairment of primarily cochlear origin, normal listeners with equivalent-threshold masking (ETM) and normal listeners tested in the quiet. ETM was produced by presenting a continuous back-ground noise that was spectrally shaped to yield masked thresholds within 3 dB of each impaired listener's quiet thresholds. For the tuning curves, the level of a 50-Hz-wide noise band necessary to mask a 10-dB SL tone was measured for six masker frequencies. Results under ETM indicate that the shape of the tuning curve depends not only on masked threshold at the probe frequency but also on the spectral shape of the masker. Tuning curves are abnormally broad in some impaired listeners even when the effects of their elevated thresholds, audiometric configuration and altered intensity perception are taken into account by comparisons with normal listeners with ETM.