Amplitude modulation (AM) of a masker reduces its masking on a simultaneously presented unmodulated pure-tone target, which likely involves dip listening. This study tested the idea that dip-listening efficiency may depend on stimulus context, i.e., the match in AM peakedness (AMP) between the masker and a precursor or postcursor stimulus, assuming a form of temporal pattern analysis process. Masked thresholds were measured in normal-hearing listeners using Schroeder-phase harmonic complexes as maskers and precursors or postcursors. Experiment 1 showed threshold elevation (i.e., interference) when a flat cursor preceded or followed a peaked masker, suggesting proactive and retroactive temporal pattern analysis. Threshold decline (facilitation) was observed when the masker AMP was matched to the precursor, irrespective of stimulus AMP, suggesting only proactive processing. Subsequent experiments showed that both interference and facilitation (1) remained robust when a temporal gap was inserted between masker and cursor, (2) disappeared when an F0-difference was introduced between masker and precursor, and (3) decreased when the presentation level was reduced. These results suggest an important role of envelope regularity in dip listening, especially when masker and cursor are F0-matched and, therefore, form one perceptual stream. The reported effects seem to represent a time-domain variant of comodulation masking release.

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