An adaptive forced‐choice procedure was used to measure, in four normal‐hearing subjects, detection thresholds for sinusoidal frequency modulation as a function of carrier frequency ( fc, from 250 to 4000 Hz) and modulation frequency ( fmod, from 1 to 64 Hz). The results show that, for a wide range of fmod values, fc and fmod have almost independent effects on the thresholds when the thresholds are expressed as just‐noticeable frequency swings and plotted on a log scale. In two subjects, the effect of fc on the thresholds was compared to the effect of standard frequency on the frequency just noticeable differences (jnd’s) of successive and steady tones. In agreement with previous data [(H. Fastl, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 63, 275–277 (1978)], it was found that the two effects are significantly different if the frequency jnd’s are measured with long‐duration tones. However, it was also found that the two effects are similar if the frequency jnd’s are measured with 25‐ms tones. These results support the idea that, at least for low fmod values, the detection of continuous and periodic frequency modulations is mediated by a pitch‐sampling process using a temporal window of about 25 ms.

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