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   It is noted that your manuscript needs careful editing by someonewith expertise in technical English editing paying particular attention toEnglish grammar, spelling, and sentence structure so that the goals and resultsof the study are clear to the reader.
◆ Ingeneral, there is a lack of explanation of replicates and statistical me
thods used in the study.
◆Furthermore, an explanation of why the authors did these various experiments
should be provided.
   Also, there are few explanations of the rationale for the studydesign.
   The conclusions are overstated.  For example, the study didnot show
   if the side effects from initial copper burst can be avoid withthe polymer formulation.
   A hypothesis needs to be presented。
   What was the rationale for the film/SBF volume ratio?
   Try to set the problem discussed in this paper in more clear,
   write one section to define the problem
   The  topic  is  novel  but  the application  proposed  is  not  so  novel.

   There is no experimental comparison of the algorithm withpreviously known work, so it is impossible to judge whether the algorithm is animprovement on previous work.
   MNQ is easier than the primitive PNQS, how to prove that.
◆ Inaddition, the list of references is not in our style. It is close but notcompletely correct. I have attached a pdf file with "Instructions forAuthors" which shows examples.
◆ Beforesubmitting a revision be sure that your material is properly prepared andformatted.  If you are unsure, please consult the formatting nstructionsto authors that are given under the "Instructions and Forms" buttonin he upper right-hand corner of the screen.
◆ It isnoted that your manuscript needs careful editing by someone with expertise intechnical English editing paying particular attention to English grammar,spelling, and sentence structure so that the goals and results of the study areclear to the reader.
◆ Theauthors must have their work reviewed by a proper translation/reviewing servicebefore submission; only then can a proper review be performed. Most sentencescontain grammatical and/or spelling mistakes or are not complete sentences.
◆ Aspresented, the writing is not acceptable for the journal.  There are pro
blems with sentence structure, verb tense, and clause construction.
◆ TheEnglish of your manuscript must be improved before resubmission. We str
ongly suggest that you obtain assistance from a colleague who is well-versed i
n English or whose native language is English.
◆ Pleasehave someone competent in the English language and the subject matte
r of your paper go over the paper and correct it. ?
◆ thequality of English needs improving.

Encouragement from reviewers:
◆ I wouldbe very glad to re-review the paper in greater depth once it has be
en edited because the subject is interesting.
◆ There iscontinued interest in your manuscript titled "……" which you subm
itted to the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B - Applied Biomat
◆ TheSubmission has been greatly improved and is worthy of publication.

Ms. Ref. No.: ******
Title: ******
Materials Science and Engineering
Dear Dr. ******,  
Reviewers have now commented on your paper. You will see that they are advisingthat you revise your manuscript. If you are prepared to undertake the workrequired, I would be pleased to reconsider my decision.  
For your guidance, reviewers' comments are appended below.
Reviewer #1: This work proposes an extensive review on micromulsion-basedmethods for the synthesis of Ag nanoparticles. As such, the matter is ofinterest, however the paper suffers for two serious limits:  
1)  the overall quality of the English language is ratherpoor;  
2)  some Figures must be selected from previous literature to discussalso the synthesis of anisotropically shaped Ag nanoparticles (there areseveral examples published), which has been largely overlooked throughout thepaper. ;
Once the above concerns are fully addressed, the manuscript could be acceptedfor publication in this journal
(1) 英文表达太差,尽管意思大致能表达清楚,但文法错误太多。
(2) 文献综述较差,观点或论断应有文献支持。
(3) 论文读起来像是XXX的广告,不知道作者与XXX是否没有关联。
(4) 该模式的创新性并非如作者所述,目前有许多XX采取此模式(如美国地球物理学会),作者应详加调查并分析XXX运作模式的创新点。
(5) 该模式也不是作者所说的那样成功……(审稿人结合论文中的数据具体分析)
(1) 缺少直接相关的文献引用(如…)。
(2) 写作质量达不到美国学术期刊的标准。
(1) 作者应着重指出指出本人的贡献。
(2) 缺少支持作者发现的方法学分析。
(3) 需要采用表格和图件形式展示(数据)材料。
Reviewer: 1
There are many things wrong with this paper.
The English is very bad. Although the meaning is by and large clear, not toomany sentences are correct.
The literature review is poor. The paper is riddled with assertions and claimsthat should be supported by references.
The paper reads as an advertisement for XXX. It is not clear that the author isindependent of XXX.
The AA model of XXX is not as innovative as the author claims. There are nowmany XX that follow this model (American Geophysical Union, for example), andthe author should survey these model to see which one first introduced theelements of the XXX model.
The model is also not as successful as the author claims. ……
Overall, the presentation and the contents of the paper can only mean that Ireject that the paper be rejected.
Reviewer: 2
The are two major problems with this paper:
(1) It is missing the context of (and citations to) what is now know as the"two-sided" market literature including that directly related to …(e.g. Braunstein, JASIS 1977; Economides & Katsanakas, Mgt. Sci., 2006;McCabe & Snyder, B.E. J Econ Analysis, 2007).

(2) The writing quality is not up to the standard of a US scholarly journal.
Reviewer: 3
1. The author should accentuate his contributions in this manuscript.
2. It lacks analytical methodologies to support author’s discoveries.
3. Description style material like this manuscript requires structured tables& figures for better presentations.

Our JPCA paper were peer reviewed by two reviewers, and theircomments are as follows:
The Comments by the First Reviewer
Editor: Michael A. Duncan
Reviewer: 68
Manuscript Number: jp067440i
Manuscript Title: Restricted Geometry Optimization, a Different Way to EstimateStabilization Energies for Aromatic Molecules of Various Types
Corresponding Author:  Yu
Recommendation: The paper is probably publishable, but should bereviewed again in revised form before it is accepted.
Additional Comments:  In the present work the authorsintroduce a new energy-based aromaticity measure. Referred as restrictedgeometry optimization, the extra stabilization energy (ESE) is calculated bymeans of an energy scheme in which the different double bonds are localized.This methodology is applied to different sets of aromatic systems, and theresults are compared to previous already existing schemes. This procedure seemsto work better than previous ones, however it must be underlined that with amuch greater complexity. It avoids having to choose a reference structure, andit is worth noticing that benzene appears to be the most aromatic system. Thusthe method presented might mean a new contribution to the different aromacitycriteria, however before acceptance for publication I would recommend importantchanges to be taken into account in the manuscript.
    The new method used is not presented in acomprehensible way. In the second paragraph of the Introduction the authorsshould already describe it, and not first presenting the results for benzeneand not going into the method till the second section. The formulas used mustbe described precisely as well. So I would recommend that before acceptance themanuscript should be rewritten in order to make it more comprehensible not onlyto physical chemists but also to the experimental chemical community, and atthe same time to improve the English used.
Other minor points are:
- First line of Introduction: aromaticity is one of the most important conceptsin organic chemistry, but most of organic compounds are not aromatic.-Introduction, line 4: notice that only energetic ways of evaluating aromaticityare mentioned, however geometry-based (HOMA), magnetic-based (NICS) andelectronic-based (SCI, PDI) methods are also important, and this point shouldbe pointed out.
- Section 3.1, last line of first paragraph: is B3LYP chosen just because itgives similar results to HF and MP2? This should be pointed out in the manuscript.
- Enlarge description in point 3.4.1 by going deeper into the data in Figure 8.

ReviewSent Date: 18-Dec-2006
The Comments by the Second Reviewer
Editor: Michael A. Duncan
Reviewer: 67
Manuscript Number: jp067440i
Manuscript Title: Restricted Geometry Optimization, a Different Way to EstimateStabilization
Energies for Aromatic Molecules of Various Types
Corresponding Author:  Yu
Recommendation: The paper is probably publishable, but should bereviewed again in revised form before it is accepted.
Additional Comments:
Comments on the manuscript "Restricted Geometry Optimization,a Different Way to Estimate Stabilization Energies for Aromatic Molecules ofVarious Types" by Zhong-Heng Yu, Peng Bao
Authors propose a restricted geometry optimization techniquesubject to pi orbital interaction constraints as a new measure of aromaticity.The approach is interesting and has certain merits. My main objection is thatthe manuscript is difficult to read and understand, mainly because of poorEnglish. A substantial revision in this respect would be beneficiary.  


还是给了我们一个修改和再被审的机会。我们应当珍惜这个机会, 不急不火。我们首


Manuscript #07-04147:

Editor's Comments:

This is my personal addition to the automatically generated email displayed
above. Your manuscript has now been read by three knowledgeable reviewers,
each of whom has provided thoughtful and detailed comments on the paper. The
main points of the reviews are self-explanatory and mostly consistent across
the reviews. Your presentation needs to be reworked substantially, and the
reviews give you many suggestions for doing so. Clearly, the introduction
needs to be much more concise and focused on the main questions you propose
to answer, and why these questions are important. The rationale for selectingthis unusual condition must be clear. Your discussion should focus on how thequestions have been answered and what they mean. The results section is heavilydependent on statistical analyses that did not satisfy the reviewers. Thefigures and tables could be improved and perhaps consolidated. The methodscould be shortened. For example, I think readers
would take your word that these were nonsense sentences, or perhaps you couldsimply cite some other work where they were used. In general, it is unusual topresent the first results as late as page 17 of a manuscript.

Beyond the issues of presentation, some serious questions are raised by the
reviewers about the design. The most notable (but not the only problem) is
that there are no conditions where young and older listeners can be compared
at nearly the same performance level in the baseline condition, and that at
least floor effects and potentially ceiling effects are likely to
significantly influence the older/younger comparison. The older listeners
are tested at only one signal-to-noise ratio, at which performance was
extremely poor. This asymmetric design where data for three signal-to-masker
ratios are available for the younger listeners but only one for the older
listeners is not ideal, but perhaps the comparison could have been salvaged
if you had guessed a little better in selecting the signal-to-masker ratio
for the older listeners. That didn't work out and you didn't adjust to it.
I'm sorry to say that in my opinion this problem is so serious that it
precludes publication of t!
older versus younger data in JASA, as I see no way of making a valid
comparison with things as they are. Further, after reading the manuscript
and the reviews, it seems to me that even the subjective impression
comparison is difficult to interpret because of the different sensation
levels at which the older and younger groups listened (if the target was
fixed at 56 dBA).

The Brungart et al. and Rakerd et al. data that you cite where the masker
delay was manipulated over the 0 to 64 ms range would seem to have been a
nice springboard for your study in older listeners. Would it not have been
cleaner to have replicated those conditions with younger subjects in your
lab, and then tested older listeners to see whether the patterns of data
were different? There, at least, the target stimulus condition itself is not
varying and there are archival data out there for comparison. As the reviews
point out, your conditions present brand new complications because the ITI
changes the spatial impression of the target, may change the energetic
masking of the target, and distorts the target temporally all at the same
time. Although the temporal distortions did not impair performance
substantially in quiet, they may well in noise. Further, the spatial
impressions created by the target in quiet are likely to be very different
than those when the target is at v!
low sensation levels in masking. Please investigate the literature on the
influence of sensation level and noise on the strength of the precedence
effect, particularly the perception of "echoes" at the longer delays.Yuan
Chuan Chiang did her dissertation on this and published the results in JASA
in 1998, but the first observation that noise can influence the breaking
apart of a lead-lag stimulus into two images dates back at least to Thurlow
and Parks (1961). To be sure, the sounds that we want to listen to are often
accompanied by reflections, and I am not questioning the general validity of
your conditions. However, it is important that your experimental design
allows you separate out the various contributions to your results.

I think there are several options for you to consider: (1) If you think it
is very important to publish all the data you have right now, you could
withdraw the manuscript and attempt to publish the data in another journal.
(2) You could argue that the reviewers and I are wrong about the seriousness
of the floor effect with the older listeners and submit a revision that
includes the same data while making a convincing case for the validity of
the older/younger comparison. Although this option is open to you, I don't
think this is a promising alternative. (3) You could collect more data on
older listeners under more favorable conditions where performance is better.
With the added data this could either be a new manuscript, or, if such data
were collected and the paper rewritten in a reasonable amount of time, it
could be considered a revision of the current manuscript. The revision would
be sent back to the reviewers. Of course, I cannot promise in advance that a manuscripteven with these new data would be judged favorably by the reviewers. (4) You
could drop the older/younger comparison from the manuscript and submit a
much shorter version that includes only the younger data and focuses on the
noise masker/speech masker distinction, perhaps analyzing your data to draw
inferences about release from energetic versus informational masking from
the data. Here too, it will be important to provide a clear rationale for
what your specific question is about release from masking, why your
conditions were chosen, and what new insights your data offer. I still worry
about how spatial effects and the effects of temporal distortions are to be
distinguished. (5) You could simply withdraw the manuscript and consider a
more straightforward design for asking the questions you want to ask with
older listeners.

Thank your for submitting your manuscript to JASA. I hope the alternatives
described will help guide you on how you should proceed from here. Whatever
you decide to do, please consider the reviewers' comments very carefully as
they have gone out of their way to provide you with suggestions on improving
the presentation.

Sincerely yours,

Richard L. Freyman


Reviewer Comments:
Reviewer #1 Evaluations:

Reviewer #1 (Good Scientific Quality):

No. See attached

Reviewer #1 (Appropriate Journal):


Reviewer #1 (Satisfactory English/References):


Reviewer #1 (Tables/Figures Adequate):


Reviewer #1 (Concise):


Reviewer #1 (Appropriate Title and Abstract):

No, because the term "interval-target interval" in the title required
further explanation.

MS#: 07-04147
Huang et al. "Effect of changing the inter-target interval oninformational
masking and energetic masking of speech in young adults and older adults."
This paper investigates the benefits of release from masking in younger and
older listeners, as a function of inter-target interval (ITI) in two masker
conditions (speech masking and noise masker). The same target speech was
presented from two different locations simultaneously in two different
maskers, one from each location (L or R). Results show that release from
informational masking is evident in both younger and older listeners when
the ITI was reduced from 64 ms to 0 ms.

General comments:

1. Introduction needs to be rewritten:

• The general impression is that the introduction section is
unnecessarily lengthy. There is too much unnecessary information, while some
important terms and information are left unexplained.
• The organization is poor and concepts are disjointed, jumping from
place to place. For example, the authors spent 1.5 pages on reverberation
and the difference between older and younger adults, than spent a full-page
to talk about masking, and then came back to reverberation.
• In addition, the authors did not clearly present the purpose ofthe
study and the core of the issues under investigation. The authors mentioned
that "the present study investigated whether changing the ITI over thewhole
precedence-operation range...can induce a release of target speech from
speech masking or noise masking." However, they did not explain how andwhy
manipulating ITI can address their questions, questions that were not clearlystated anywhere in the paper. No hypothesis was provided in the paper and noexplanation was given regarding how the experimental conditions or contrast ofresults in
different conditions can answer the questions under investigation.

2. Report of results and statistical analyses needs to be accurate and

• Authors failed to provide results of statistical analyses in many
• At the beginning of the result section for both the younger and
older groups, the authors should clearly present the number of factors
included in the analysis and which one was a between-subject factor and
which ones were within-subject factors. Main effects and interaction (3-way
and 2-way) should also be reported clearly.
• Bonferroni correction was mentioned in the post-hoc analyses;
however, no pvalue was reported.
• The authors should not use the term "marginallysignificant". It is
"significant" or "nonsignificant". I don't see p=0.084 is"marginally
• When you say percent release, do you mean percentage point
difference between
the 64 ms ITI and other ITI values? For example, in the statement "...the
amount was 31.9% under the speech-masking condition,...", do you mean"31.9
percentage points"?

3. Baseline condition is questionable:

• The authors failed to provide clear explanation of the results.For
example, the authors finally provided the definition of release from masking
(on p.19) as
"...the release of speech from masking at each ITI is defined as thepercent
difference between the speech-identification at the ITI and the speech
identification at the ITI of 64 ms (the longest ITI in this study)."
• It took me a while to understand what this means, and finally came
up with the interpretation (if my interpretation is correct) of the data forthe
authors. It seems that when ITI was at 0 ms, the perceived spatial location
is between the two maskers (spatial separation). But when the ITI was 32
and/or 64 ms, listeners heard two images (one from each side) and there was
no spatial separation between the target speech and the masker on either
side. Therefore, according to the authors, the release from masking is the
performance difference between the ITI conditions when listeners heard only
one image in a location different from the maskers', and the ITI conditions
where two images from the masker locations were heard. However, I have a
problem with the baseline condition (64 ms ITI in which two images were
perceived). If the listeners could not fuse the image, did they hear a delay
(echo) between the two targets? If so, the poor performance in the 64 ms
condition can be partially due to the confusion/disruption induced by the
echo in noise conditions in addition to the lack of spatial separation betweenthe target and the masker.

4. Subject recruitment criteria were unclear:

• The authors recruited both young and older adults in the study and
claimed that both groups had "clinically normal hearing." However,reading
the fine details of their hearing thresholds (< 45 dB HL between 125 and 4k
Hz), it is hard to accept that the hearing thresholds are within normal
limits in the older group. There is at least a mild hearing loss below 4k Hz
and mild-to-moderate hearing loss above 4k Hz (see Fig. 1) in these
subjects. The authors should explain the differences in the results in
relation to the threshold differences between the two groups.
• The threshold data provided in Fig. 1 is average data. It is
necessary to provide individual threshold data (at least for the older
group) in a table format.

5. Language problem:

• I understand that English is not the authors' native language. It
is recommended that the authors seek assistance in proof-reading the
manuscript before submission.

6. Tables and Figures:

• Table 1 and 2 are not necessary since the information is presented
in Fig. 7
• The authors should provide legends in the figures.
• The authors should provide error bars in the graphs in Fig 1.
• It is hard to see the short ITI data in Fig. 2
• The authors should consider changing the scale on the y-axis in
Fig. 4 to provide better visualization of the data.
• Fig. 6 should be deleted. Results could be clearly described inthe

Specific comments (this is by no means a complete list):

p.3 first par: The quote from Knudsen (1929) is not necessary.
p.4 first & second par. The authors provided an exhaustive list of
references in various place. I recommend they only cite the ones that are
most relevant and representative.
p.4 last sentence. "A listener subject to informational masking a target
speech feels it difficult to segregate audible components of the target
speech from those of masking speech." This sentence is incomprehensible,
please rewrite.
p.5 first line, first par. "Masking (particularly information masking) of
target speech can be reduced if the listener can use certain cues (perceived
spatial location, acoustical features, lexical information, etc) to
facilitate his/her selective attention to the target
speech." References are needed for each cue listed in this sentence.
p.5 line 5. "Age-related deficits...inhibition of goal-irrelevant
information..., therefore may cause more speech-recognition difficulties"
This sentence is coming out of the blue without further explanation.
p. 8-10. Please explain the terms "inter-loudspeaker interval",
"inter-masker interval", "inter-target interval" beforeusing them.
p.11 line 11 "Moreover, if the recognition of target speech under eitherthe
speech masking condition or noise masking condition is significantly
influenced by the ITI in younger adults, the present study further
investigated whether there is an age-related deficit in the releasing effect
of changing the ITI." This sentence is incomprehensible.
p.11 line 2 "The 36 young university students all had normal and
balanced...." Change "balance" to "symmetrical."
p. 12 line 8 "Direct English translations of the sentences are similar but
not identical to the English nonsense sentences that were developed by
Helfer (1997) and also used in studies by Freyman et al. (1999, 2001, 2004)
and Li et al. (2004)." I thought the sentences were created by theauthors.
So, are they a direct translation from the English version or created by the
p.13 last par "For the two-source target presentation,...." This cameout of
the blue. The experimental conditions should be described clearly in a
separate section. Schematic representation of the conditions could be
p.15 line 8 "During a session, the target-speech sounds were presented ata
level such that each loudspeaker, playing alone, would produce a sound
pressure of 56 dBA." Is this the rms level of speech? The level at 56 dBA
seems a little low to me. It may sound very soft for the older listeners
given that they have mild to moderate hearing loss. Can you explain why you
chose such a low presentation level?
p.15 last line "There were 36 ((17+1)x2) testing condition for younger
participants, and there were 32 ((15+1)x2) testing conditions for older
participants." The number of conditions for each group is not apparent to
me. Could you explain further in the manuscript?
p.16 line 9 "...participated in additional speech-recognition experiments
under the condition without masker presentation." Where did the target
speech come from? Front? Right? Or left?
p.17-27. See comments on reporting results and statistical analysis under
"General comments" point #2.
p.23 line 12-13 "A 2 (masker type) by 15 (ITI) within-subject ANOVAconfirms
that the interaction between masker type and ITI was significant..." Since
the interaction is significant, the authors should not simply interpret the
main effects.
p.29 line 9 Explain "self-masking" effect. Would the author expect a
"self-masking" effect in noise?
p.30 last par first line "Specifically, when the SNR was -4 dB, changingthe
ITI (absolute value) from 64 to 0 ms led to only a small improvement in
target-speech intelligibility, and the improvement was similar between the
speech masking condition and the noise masking condition." The amount of
release from masking in the speech masker condition at -4 dB SNR may be
limited by the ceiling effect.
p.31 line 5 "In older participants, the reduction of the ITI also improved
speech recognition under both the speech masking condition and the noise
masking condition..."
It is hard to tell if there is a significant difference among the ITI
conditions with the noise masker due to the floor effect.
p.31 line 7 from bottom. "The results suggest a faster decay of temporal
storage of the fine details of speech sound in older adults than in younger
adults. Thus at long it is (16 ms or 32 ms), cues induced by the integration
of leading and lagging target signals were weaker and/or not be well used in
older participants." First, the author should take into account thehearing
loss in the older group. Second, this conclusion seems somewhat
contradictory to what the authors reported regarding the perceived image(s)
of the target signal under various ITI conditions. All except for one
younger subject perceived two
separate images at 32 ms ITI, but most of the older subjects still perceived
the target as one image.
p.32 2nd par. The discussion on the effect of inter-sound delay on ear
channel acoustics came out of nowhere.

Reviewer #2 Evaluations:

Reviewer #2 (Good Scientific Quality):

Generally yes - see general remarks below.

Reviewer #2 (Appropriate Journal):


Reviewer #2 (Satisfactory English/References):

Clarity and conciseness could be improved - see general remarks.

The referencing is occasionally excessive, e.g. the 17 references provided
to back up the existence of informational masking on page 4, lines 13-17, or
p28 lines 15-16. Some choice examples would generally suffice instead of
these long lists of citations (see JASA guidelines).

The English is satisfactory, with lots of minor comments (see 'detailed
comments' below)

Reviewer #2 (Tables/Figures Adequate):

The figures would benefit from being redrawn using appropriate
graph-plotting software. In their current form, they are quite pixelated.

The figures would benefit from a legend, when there are several symbols used
on the same graphs.

Figure 2 and Figure 3's x-axes should be suitably non-linear, because the
points plotted for ITIs between -10 and 10 ms are illegible.

Figure 3 is perhaps largely repeats information that is apparent in Figure
2. Also, the top panel is perhaps misleading, as the difference between the
two conditions could be explained to some degree by a ceiling effect. The
use of symmetry in Figure 3 should be applied to Figure 2, since we had no
reason to expect left-right effects.

Tables 1 and 2 should be omitted, since all their information is provided in
a Figure.

Reviewer #2 (Concise):

There seem to be a large number of ANOVAs described in great detail. Perhaps
these could be reduced to more essential statistics, or even omitted when
the differences are clear from the figures (see 'general remarks' below).

Reviewer #2 (Appropriate Title and Abstract):

In the title, the term 'inter-target interval' could refer to many things,
and it is not immediately obvious from the title that the paper has anything
to do with the precedence effect.

Reviewer #2 (Remarks):

The authors have presented uncorrelated speech or noise maskers from two
speakers, and presented the target speech from the same two speakers
non-simultaneously, varying the time-interval (the inter-target interval, or
ITI) between the two presentations.

(1) Young listeners' speech-recognition: Novel differences were mentioned
between the design of your experiment and seemingly similar experiments
(Rakerd et al. 2006; Brungart et al. 2005). The discussion section would
benefit from a comparison of the results from these experiments. There
should be some mention of the general effect of ITI on speech-recognition,
and some discussion about its cause and/or implications.

(2) Age-related differences in speech-recognition: I was not entirely
convinced that the differences could not be adequately explained by a
combination of elderly listeners' increased susceptibility to energetic
masking, elderly listeners' reduced ability to listen in the dips, and
floor/ceiling effects. These simple explanations should receive more
emphasis. Once they have been ruled out, more emphasis should be given to
the apparent connection between the subjective results and the
speech-recognition results (around 32 ms ITI). There should be more
discussion about the meaning and importance of this interesting connection,
and its implications for elderly listeners, perhaps mentioning auditory
scene analysis.

It's unfortunate that the elderly listeners were only tested for SNRs at
which they had such poor speech recognition.

(3) Age-related differences in subjective perception: Elderly listeners had
reduced echo-thresholds for speech compared to young listeners. This seems
to be a novel result. If this section is to be included, further discussion
of relevant literature should be included, and further description of the
method used to get these subjective responses. Perhaps this aspect could be
published separately as a letter.

Age-related differences were described as 'temporal decline'. If this term
is to be used, it should perhaps be defined more carefully. Also, does it
refer to the age-related differences in dip-listening, age-related
differences in subjective perception, the interaction of subjective
perception and speech-recognition, or some combination of these? If it is
some combination, there should be further argument that the phenomena are
related, perhaps incorporating other temporal-decline results from the

Overall, there is too much statistics and not enough interpretation of what
the results mean. A major re-write is required, focusing on the important
results in the Results section, and interpreting them in the Discussion

Pages 3-4
The second paragraph has somewhat flawed logic (the last sentence does not
logically follow from the preceding sentences) and the conclusion isn't
particularly relevant to the rest of the paper. It could be omitted.

Page 11, lines 14-15: You describe the elderly listeners' audiograms as
'clinically normal' (also in the abstract) yet above, you suggest that some
of them have 45 dB HL hearing losses for some pure tones. You might want to
specify the definition of normal-hearing that you are using. I would agree
with you (especially given their mean audiogram in Figure 1) that they are
in the early stages of presbycusis, rather than normal-hearing. Describing
them as simply 'normal-hearing' is perhaps misleading. Some indication of
the range of the audiograms would be useful.

Page 12, line 11. It might be helpful to include an example sentence and its
translation, to save the reader referring back to the cited papers.

Page 13, lines 7-14. -log(1/f) is the same as log(f); and the sum of log(f)
is equal to log(the product of f). Thus you have balanced the product of the
word frequencies. This seems an unusual measure: one nonsense word of
frequency = 0 would not make the whole list unintelligible. Perhaps there
are more meaningful comparisons of the distribution of word frequencies
within a list, or perhaps that would be too much detail. It would suffice to
say that the words were distributed pseudorandomly.

Page 13, lines 20-21. Why was the 0.5-ms ITI not used for elderly listeners?

Page 14. A short summary of the conditions would be useful, for ease of

Page 15, lines 1-5: When the sentences were mixed, were their onsets
simultaneous or randomised? Also, if there was no processing other than
addition (e.g. phase-randomisation) would it not be better to refer to the
masker as speech babble throughout, rather than noise?

Page 16, line 13: Perhaps it would be worth mentioning that participants
were (say) given two options (broad or compact); or, if the participants
were free to describe the stimulus in any terms, some description of the
experimenter's process of interpretation should be mentioned.

Pages 17-27: There are a large number of interactions mentioned. Not all of
them have any influence on the discussion or conclusions. In fact, in many
instances, there are no post hoc analyses to find the source of the
interaction, nor descriptions of the effects. Not all interactions are
interesting. Some may disappear under appropriate transformations; we
wouldn't always expect linear effects with percent-correct recognition.
However, some of the interactions you describe seem interesting. Comparing
the middle-left, middle-right and bottom-left panels of Figure 2, or the two
panels of Figure 4, leave me in no doubt that you have genuinely observed
more release from speech maskers than noise maskers. More emphasis should be
placed on describing these interesting interactions, and less emphasis
should be placed on the raw statistics.

Also the results section should be generally shortened, omitting statistics
when the results are obvious from the figures. Example candidates for
omission are:
- p17 last line - p18 line 4
- the last paragraph on page 18
- the 2nd and 4th paragraph of page 20.
- All of page 21, except "For groups 2 and 3, the ITI-induced release was
markedly larger under the speech masking condition than the noise masking

When describing the elderly listeners' data, much space could be saved by
using the phrase "The elderly listeners' data were similar to those of the
young listeners, except..." or similar. This would also be easier for the
reader to follow and interpret.

The first three paragraphs of section C could be reduced to something
similar to "Young listeners obtained 100% speech-reception, and elderly
listeners obtained 97%. There was no effect of ITI".

Page 18: lines 4-6: This sentence does not make sense.

Page 28: lines 19-21: These differences occur with different baselines of
performance, so aren't a fair comparison.

Page 28: line 22: Setting aside the previous two comments, there are surely
other possible explanations as well as the one you have concluded?

Page 29: section B: there should be some acknowledgement that the young
listeners (and the elderly listeners to a lesser extent) were performing at
ceiling without the masker. You cannot always generalise from SNR=∞
to lesser SNRs; the asymptote of the psychometric function doesn't tell you
much about the rest of the psychometric function.

Page 29, section B, paragraph 2: "...can selectively focus their attention
to only one of the images (usually the leading one)." There are no data
provided or referenced to justify this statement.

Page 31, section D: The lack of effect of ITI over 16 ms seems best
explained by a floor effect. I am yet to be convinced that the age-related
differences are not completely explained by the elderly listeners increased
susceptibility to energetic masking and reduced ability to listen in the

Page 32, section E: Some mention should be made of ITDs, and the possibility
of binaural unmasking.

Page 34, Summary (1): "Due to the age-related reduction in temporal
processing,..." this detail would need to be argued more solidly in the
discussion to be included as a fact in the Summary.


Page 2, line 2: 'find it difficult' rather than 'feel it difficult' would
seem more natural (also page 5, line 1)
Page 5, line 1: 'of' instead of 'a'?
Page 6, line 3: 'from compact to diffuse' rather than
Page 6, line 7: 'central computation' implies that we understand the neural
processes underlying the precedence effect better than we do. Perhaps
'detection' instead?
Page 6, line 21: an onset delay cannot be reversed. It is clear what you
mean, but it needs to be rephrased:
Page 7, line 9: 'has evolved to be' could be replaced by 'is' to avoid any
evolutionary-psychological assumptions
Page 8, line 10: 'in a background' rather than 'on the background'
Page 8, line 17: 'Rakerd' not 'Raberk'
Page 9, line 2: 'masker' not 'master'
Page 10, line 2: the citation '(1978)' doesn't need to be repeated.
Page 10, line 3: 'was caused' rather than 'is caused'.
Page 10, lines 3-4: The purpose or implication of the sentence starting
'However, it is not clear whether...' is not clear.
Page 10, line 10: 'The present study investigated' rather than 'the present
study typically investigated'
Page 10, lines 11-14: The sentence would read better with the conditional
sub-clause removed (from 'if the recognition...' to '...in younger adults')
Page 13, line 17: 'ITIs' rather than 'ITI'.
Page 14, lines 13-14: Do the four loops stay in synch with each other, or
are they randomised individually on a trial-by-trial basis? This sentence
could be made more clear.
Page 14, line 20: Do you mean 'the 300 most frequently occurring syllables'?

Page 15, lines 7-8: 'where the center of the listener's head would be'
rather than 'at the central location of the listener's head when the
listener was absent'.
Page 15, line 12: 'was adjusted' rather than 'were adjusted'
Page 15, lines 17-18: 'except that' rather than 'except for that'
Page 16, line 12: 'describe' rather than 'descript'.
Page 16, line 22: 'consisted of' rather than 'was consistent of'
Page 17, line 8: 'three' rather than '3'.
Page 17, line 9: 'three' rather than '3'.
Page 17, line 16: 'was' rather than 'became'
Page 27, line 19: 'decreased faster in younger participants than in older
participants' - it didn't decrease at all for the older participants; also
'faster' is perhaps not the appropriate word in this context.
Page 28, paragraph 1: The raised thresholds observed for elderly listeners
is not a novel result, and perhaps the previous research showing this should
be referenced.
Page 28, line 22: 'Wingfield' rather than 'Wingfiled'.
Page 29, line 19: 'fuses with' not 'fuse withs'
Page 30, line 2: 'and' rather than 'and and'
Page 30, line 6: 'maskers' not 'makers'
Page 30, line 5: '...fused; they...' or '...fused, but they...' rather than
'...fused, they...'. The following point from 'co-variations' could perhaps
be made more clearly.
Page 30, line 16: 'sufficiently' rather than 'sufficient'
Page 30, line 16: 'ITI-induced' rather than 'ITI-induce'.
Page 32, line 16: '...manipulations, as long as they help...'
Page 33, line 1: 'loudspeakers' rather than 'loudspeaker'.
Page 33, line 3: 'one or more' rather than 'one or some'
Page 33, lines 9-10: 'several papers have failed to find any age-related
effects...' rather than 'there are no age-related effects on the precedence
Page 33, line 13: 'ITI-induced' rather than 'ITI0induced'.
Page 34, line 1: 'became 8 ms or short' should be 'was 8 ms or shorter'.
Page 34, line 5: 'masker' not 'maker'
Page 34, line 15: which condition is the 'non-reverberant condition'? Keep
the terminology consistent to the rest of the document. (The same applies to
the rest of the summary)
Page 37: Appendix 1 should be omitted, unless the spectral differences are
described and interpreted.
Page 37, line 8: 'sound-progressed software'?
Page 37, line 10: 'spectral' rather than 'spectrum'
Page 38: Appendix 2 could be omitted

Reviewer #3 Evaluations:

Reviewer #3 (Good Scientific Quality):

The paper is vague and needs reworking to make clear the goals and
hypotheses driving the work and the interpretation of the results.

Reviewer #3 (Appropriate Journal):


Reviewer #3 (Satisfactory English/References):

The English is alright, but there are many typos and grammatical errors.

Reviewer #3 (Tables/Figures Adequate):


Reviewer #3 (Concise):

No. The introduction is long and unfocused.

Reviewer #3 (Appropriate Title and Abstract):

The results do not tease apart informational vs. energetic masking
contributions. In meaning of "inter-target interval" is notdescriptive
enough to be meaningful until after reading the methods.

Reviewer #3 (Remarks):

This paper presents results of an experiment conducted in young and older
listeners listening to target speech embedded in competing signals. The
experiment uses a complex set-up, including two competing maskers from
different (symmetrically positioned) locations and a target that is played
from both speakers while varying the timing of the target signals from the
two speakers.
The authors spend a *lot* of time trying to relate this set up to the
precedence effect and difficulties of understanding speech in a room, fusion
of a leading and a lagging sound, and temporal processing. The introduction
is, indeed, long and hard to follow. It is not clear where the argument is
going, or how the reviewed material influenced the design of the current
experiments, let alone what the current experiment is trying to test. While
all of the issues raised in the introduction undoubtedly contribute to the
results obtained in the experiment, none of these ideas is explored fully
enough to understand how or why they may be important in the current setup.
What is the goal of the experiment? Why use this complex setup? What are the
hypotheses for what will happen as a function of inter-target delay? For
aging listeners? None of this is clear in the current presentation.
Off the top of my head, here is a list of examples of the kinds of things
that are very troubling in the manuscript:
There are never any clearly stated hypotheses for what should happen in the
different settings, or why. There is no discussion or interpretation of the
results that lends insight into what processes are contributing to the
observed effects. The influences of energetic masking are not discussed and
the results confound release from energetic and informational masking. While
the overall long-term spectral average of the speech is shown to change only
by a limited amount with inter-target delay, there is no discussion of what
happens in the modulation domain (which, arguably, is the most relevant
domain for speech understanding). There is no discussion of how envelope
cues are affected, or what this could do to INTELLIGIBILITY as well as
SEGREGATION of the sources. The single-source control (dashed line in the
main figures) is not an adequate control for energetic or informational
masking in the two-masker conditions, and thus is essentially useless. The
older listeners perform  worse overall than any of the younger listeners,and thus, there is no point in the direct comparisons that are made betweenyounger and older listeners.
Nothing can really be concluded about why the older listeners do poorly,
since they are worse than any of the control groups. The fact that the
change in performance with inter-target delay is smaller for the older
listners is meaningless, since this may be a floor effect. Similarly, the
fact that changes in performance with inter-target delay are smaller in the
younger listener group with the best signal-to-noise ratio than for the
other groups is likely due to ceiling effects-- there is no reason to expect
equal changes at all performance levels (psychometric functions are
sigmoidal, in general, not linear). This same problem makes the target-only
control experiment particularly pointless.
Given that all of the results are taken at different points on the
psychometric functions and that the psychometric functions are nonlinear,
the ANOVA analyses presented seem pointless to this reviewer-- they compare
apples and oranes. Moreover, the statistical analyses are presented
**instead of** any description of what is happening and what it might mean.
I would rather have some help understanding what you expected to see and why
instead of a lot of statistical analyses that don't lend any insight into
what was found.
Throughout the manuscript, there is no attempt to determine what is due to
energetic and what is due to informational masking. The noise control
condition probably *only* gives energetic masking, but the amount of
energetic masking it produces is different from that of the the other speech
conditions. Thus, there is no way to conclude anything about how IM and EM
contribute in the speech conditions as a function of inter-target delay, or
what the inter-target delay is really doing.
The experiment in which listeners were asked to judge the spatial quality of
the different conditions might have been important in helping to interpret
what was happening, but was never developed. What is shown is actually quite
confusing. The older listeners may have a slightly different pattern of
spatial perception as a function of inter-target delay, but this is never
fully explored. No hypotheses are given to describe how these differences
are likely to impact speech understanding in the speech intelligibility
task. IF the results are reliable and repeatable enough to be meaningful
(which is suspect, given the small number of subjects), what do you expect
to happen for older listeners for whom the sounds are MORE DIFFUSE AT ZERO
DELAY than for younger listeners? Wouldn't that suggest that they should
have more difficulty in understanding the target compared to young listeners
at these short delays? But they are like the younger listeners at the longest
delays, hearing two
targets. Is that good or bad? If hearing two separate targets (at the
locations of the maskers) is expected to make the task harder, why aren't
the older listeners BETTER than the younger listeners at the delays of 16
and 32? There is no discussion of these points to help interpret any of
The paper ends with conclusions that are not linked to any of the results
shown. How can one assert that the "listeners perceive two spatially
separated images of the target and can selectively focus their attention to
only one of the images (usually the leading one)" (p. 29) from the data
presented? This one sentence contains so many assumptions, it is
indefensible. All that was measured is intelligibility. On p. 31, the
authors write "The results suggest a faster decay of temporal storage ofthe
fine details of speech sound (sic) in older adults than in youngeradults."
The only thing that is shown is that the older listeners have more
difficulty in general, are near the performance floor, and show less
dependence on the inter-target delay. There are too many leaps to go from
this to asserting that there are differences in "temporal storage of the
fine details."
There are numerous typos (names misspelled, grammar issues) throughout;
however, the manuscript needs to be completely rewritten before it is in an
acceptable form for JASA, so I will not comment on that here.
In summary, while the results might be of interest if presented in a more
accessible way, with clearer justification for the experimental design and
explicit hypotheses for what should happen in the different conditions, this
could be salvaged into an acceptable paper. In its current form, it is not
appropriate for JASA.