Terhardt, E. (1972). Frequency and time resolution of the ear in pitch perception of complex  tones. In: Hearing Theory, IPO, Eindhoven, 142-153

Spectral pitch and virtual pitch are basically different percepts. Spectral pitch seems to be a "primary sensation" which is closely related to the situation of the cochlear excitation. Virtual pitch seems to be derived from the same clues as the spectral pitches of dominant partials (or from the spectral pitches as such) by a process of high complexity. An essential means involved in this process is the knowledge of harmonic pitch intervals which is stored in the hearing mechanism. This knowledge seems to be acquired during the learning process which enables us in earliest life to recognize speech sounds.

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