The dominant role of low-frequency interaural time differences in sound localization

J Acoust Soc Am. 1992 Mar;91(3):1648-61. doi: 10.1121/1.402445.


Two experiments are described in which listeners judge the apparent directions of virtual sound sources-headphone-presented sounds that are processed in order to simulate free-field sounds. Previous results suggest that when the cues to sound direction are preserved by the simulation, the apparent directions of virtual sources are nearly the same as the apparent directions of real free-field sources. In the experiments reported here, the interaural phase relations in the processing algorithms are manipulated in order to produce stimuli in which the interaural time difference cues signal one direction and interaural intensity and pinna cues signal another direction. The apparent directions of these conflicting cue stimuli almost always follow the interaural time cue, as long as the wideband stimuli include low frequencies. With low frequencies removed from the stimuli, the dominance of interaural time difference disappears, and apparent direction is determined primarily by interaural intensity difference and pinna cues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Dichotic Listening Tests*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • Male
  • Pitch Discrimination*
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Sound Localization*
  • Time Perception*