Binaural pitch difference query

Vyt Karazija VytKarazija at access.net.au
Mon Apr 7 02:13:02 EST 1997


I would welcome information from anyone in this field about a perceptual
phenomenon I haven't come across before.

I currently have a slight cold, and that wonderful 'blocked ears'
feeling that goes with it. I now notice that my pitch perception is awry
- listening to a telephone facility tone with my left ear gives a
subjective tone 3 semitones lower than the right. Listening to high
pitched voices results in in a 'pitch shifted' effect in the left ear,
with what appears to be a slight time delay as well. 

My own area is audio production , and as you can imagine this effect is
a tad disturbing, although I am hoping it is transient. The only answer
that seems even vaguely close is that the telephone tone has a number of
upper harmonics which I can't hear with the left ear - alternatively,
using conventional pitch perception theory, I can't hear the 'pitch
determining' fundamental with my right ear.

Any suggestions? Or should I be looking for an X-Files FAQ?! :)
Thanks, Vyt



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