Temporal resolution and temporal integration

Jesko L. Verhey

in Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: Hearing

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233557
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Temporal resolution and temporal integration

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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The auditory system has a limited ability to follow the time-varying envelope, commonly referred to as ‘temporal resolution’. This article describes the main characteristics of auditory temporal resolution, and elucidates the specific mechanisms that process fluctuations in the temporal envelope. It begins with a summary of different measures of temporal resolution, followed by a broader view of temporal resolution by briefly discussing a study on pitch and one on binaural perception. Following this, the article reveals two different approaches to characterizing temporal resolution in more detail, namely non-simultaneous masking experiments and the perception of periodic envelope fluctuations. It also describes physiological constraints of temporal resolution. It then discusses the concept of temporal integration emphasizing that the temporal-window model also uses temporal integration to describe non-simultaneous masking. Furthermore, it deals with the classical approach to temporal integration. Finally, it provides a different view on temporal integration using the theory of multiple looks.

Keywords: temporal resolution; temporal integration; masking; classical approach; pitch; binaural perception

Article.  9333 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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