Reconsidering evidence for the suppression model of the octave illusion

Chambers, CD, Mattingley, JB and Moss, SA (2004) Reconsidering evidence for the suppression model of the octave illusion. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11 4: 642-666. doi:10.3758/BF03196617

Author Chambers, CD
Mattingley, JB
Moss, SA
Title Reconsidering evidence for the suppression model of the octave illusion
Journal name Psychonomic Bulletin & Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1069-9384
Publication date 2004-01-01
Year available 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3758/BF03196617
Open Access Status
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 642
End page 666
Total pages 25
Place of publication Austin
Publisher Psychonomic Soc Inc
Language eng
Abstract The octave illusion is elicited by a sequence of tones presented to each ear that continuously alternate in frequency by one octave, but with high and low frequencies always in different ears. The percept for most listeners is a high pitch in one ear, alternating with a low pitch in the other ear. The influential suppression model of the illusion proposed by Deutsch and Roll (1976) carries three postulates: first, that listeners perceive only the pitch of the tones presented to their dominant ear; second, that this pitch is heard in whichever ear received the higher frequency tone; and third, that this apparent dissociation between what and where mechanisms arises from sequential interactions between the tones. In the present article, we reappraise evidence for the suppression model and demonstrate (1) the incompatibility of the theory with the existing literature on pitch perception, sound localization, and ear dominance and (2) methodological limitations in studies that have claimed to provide support for the suppression model. We conclude by proposing an alternative theory of the octave illusion that is based on established principles of fusion, rather than suppression, between ears.
Keyword Psychology, Mathematical
Psychology, Experimental
Simultaneous Tone Bursts
Ear Dominance Functions
Interaural Delay
Dichotic Competition
Different Frequency
Complex Waveforms
Contralateral Inhibition
Sequential Interactions
Auditory Illusion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 17 Oct 2007, 23:13:06 EST