Binaural and temporal integration of the loudness of tones and noises

Daniel Algom, Atalia Rubin, Lior Cohen-Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Subjects judged the loudness of tones (Experiment 1) and of bursts of noise (Experiment 2) that varied in intensity and duration as well as in mode of presentation (monaural vs. binaural). Both monaural and binaural loudness, for both types of signals, obeyed the bilinear-interaction prediction of the classic temporal integration model. The loudness of short tones grows as a power function of both intensity and duration with different exponents for the two factors (.2 and .3, respectively). The loudness of wide-band noises grows as a power function of duration (with an exponent of approximately .6) but not of sound pressure. For tones, binaural summation was constant but fell short of full additivity. For noises, summation changed across level and duration. Temporal summation followed the same course for monaural and binaural tonal stimuli but not for noise stimuli. Notwithstanding these differences between tone and noise, we concluded that binaural and temporal summation are independently operating integrative networks within the auditory system. The usefulness of establishing the underlying metric structure for temporal summation is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1989


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeR01NS021326


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