The effects of variations in three pairs of variables on identification and discrimination of rhythmic patterns in pure-tone sequences were investigated. It was found that adding a timing difference to two sequences that differed in terms of the pattern of tone intensities improved discrimination if variations of the two variables converged on the same rhythmic pattern but did not help if the variation in timing undermined the rhythmic pattern created by the intensity variation. Adding a difference in the intensities of tones to two sequences that differed in terms of the pitch structure produced a similar pattern of results. The effect of adding a difference in pitch structure to two sequences that differed in terms of timing was not reliably related to the way the differences were combined. The results showed that, at least for some variables, predicting discrimination performance from probabilities of detecting a rhythmic pattern is possible. The relationship of the results to cue trading in speech perception and research possibilities with similar methods are discussed.

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