Contribution of frequency bands to the loudness of broadband sounds: Tonal and noise stimuli

Walt Jesteadt, Marcin Wróblewski, Robin High

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contributions of individual frequency bands to judgments of total loudness can be assessed by varying the level of each band independently from one presentation to the next and determining the relation between the change in level of each band and the loudness judgment. In a previous study, measures of perceptual weight obtained in this way for noise stimuli consisting of 15 bands showed greater weight associated with the highest and lowest bands than loudness models would predict. This was true even for noise with the long-term average speech spectrum, where the highest band contained little energy. One explanation is that listeners were basing decisions on some attribute other than loudness. The current study replicated earlier results for noise stimuli and included conditions using 15 tones located at the center frequencies of the noise bands. Although the two types of stimuli sound very different, the patterns of perceptual weight were nearly identical, suggesting that both sets of results are based on loudness judgments and that the edge bands play an important role in those judgments. The importance of the highest band was confirmed in a loudness-matching task involving all combinations of noise and tonal stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3586-3594
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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