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The pinna enhances angular discrimination in the 1 frontal hemifield

Stevenson-Hoare, Joshua O., Freeman, Tom C. A. ORCID: and Culling, John F. ORCID: 2022. The pinna enhances angular discrimination in the 1 frontal hemifield. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 152 (4) , 2140. 10.1121/10.0014599

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Human sound localization in the horizontal dimension is thought to be dominated by binaural cues, particularly interaural time delays, because monaural localization in this dimension is relatively poor. Remaining ambiguities of front versus back and up versus down are distinguished by high-frequency spectral cues generated by the pinna. The experiments in this study show that this account is incomplete. Using binaural listening throughout, the pinna substantially enhanced horizontal discrimination in the frontal hemifield, making discrimination in front better than discrimination at the rear, particularly for directions away from the median plane. Eliminating acoustic effects of the pinna by acoustically bypassing them or low-pass filtering abolished the advantage at the front without affecting the rear. Acoustic measurements revealed a pinna-induced spectral prominence that shifts smoothly in frequency as sounds move from 0° to 90° azimuth. The improved performance is discussed in terms of the monaural and binaural changes induced by the pinna.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
ISSN: 0001-4966
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 19 September 2022
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 23:20

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