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Front/Back Mirror Image Reversal Errors and Left/Right Asymmetry in Sound Localization

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This research investigated left/right asymmetries in sound localization in sixteen normal-hearing young adults. The study was conducted in a semi-reverberant sound proof chamber that modelled a real-world office environment. The subject was required to identify the direction of a 300-ms auditory stimulus (one-third octave band centred at 0.5 or 4kHz or broadband noise), randomly emanating from an array of 4 or 8 loudspeakers surrounding him/her, at a distance of 1 m. For the 4-speaker array, loudspeakers were placed either close to the midline (±15 and ±165 degrees) or interaural (±75 and ±105 degrees) axes. For the 8-speaker array, two loudspeakers were placed in each spatial quadrant, one at the midline position and the second separated from the first by 15, 30, 45 or 60 degrees. The broadband noise proved easiest to localize and the 0.5 kHz one-third octave band the most difficult. At 0.5 kHz, accuracy in speaker identification was higher on the left than the right. This outcome was largely due to a greater proportion of front/back mirror image reversal errors on the right, particularly for the midline azimuth. A two-coordinate system proposed by Morimoto et al. [1] provided a good fit to the data and confirmed that the difference in accuracy for 0.5 kHz and 4 kHz was due to differences in front/back confusions rather than the perception of azimuth, per se.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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