Sex differences in simultaneous masking with random-frequency maskers

Donna L. Neff, Christina J. Kessler, Theresa M. Dethlefs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Previously published data for 49 normal-hearing, young adult listeners in a simultaneous-masking task with high stimulus uncertainty were reexamined with regard to possible differences in performance for male versus female listeners. The task was the detection of a 1000-Hz, sinusoidal signal in the presence of multitonal simultaneous maskers comprised of sinusoids whose frequencies were drawn at random from a wide range with each stimulus presentation. The analysis focused on the ten-component masking condition, which included all listeners and showed large individual differences in performance. The average quiet threshold for the signal was near 6 dB SPL for both the 27 males and 22 females, but average masked threshold was 7-8 dB higher for females. More females than males were represented in the highest quartile or upper half of the performance range ('high threshold'), with more males than females in the lowest quartile or half ('low threshold'). Particularly for tasks exhibiting large individual differences, more attention should be paid to the possibility of sex differences in performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2547-2550
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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