The precedence effect: fusion and lateralization measures for headphone stimuli lateralized by interaural time and level differences

J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):2883-98. doi: 10.1121/1.4796113.


The present investigation assessed fusion and localization dominance aspects of the precedence effect under headphones across a variety of stimulus conditions in 10 normal-hearing listeners. Listeners were presented with "lead-lag" pairs of brief (123 μs) impulses or trains of such pairs lateralized by interaural time or level differences (ITD or ILD). Listeners used a touch-sensitive display to indicate for the final lead-lag pair presented on each trial (1) whether one or two locations were perceived and (2) the location perceived. In the event two locations were perceived, subjects were further instructed to indicate the left-most location perceived. Results demonstrated that lead-lag fusion was more robust for stimuli lateralized by ITD than ILD, particularly when cues of the test stimulus differed from cues of the preceding "buildup" stimulus, consistent with Krumbholz and Nobbe [(2002). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 112, 654-663]. Unexpectedly, results also demonstrated reduced localization dominance with increasing lead-lag delay, suggesting that the fusion aspect of the precedence effect may be dissociated from the localization dominance aspect under buildup. It is thus argued that buildup of fusion might be understood more generally as an example of auditory object formation rather than a special facility for enhanced sound localization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Acoustics / instrumentation*
  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Reaction Time
  • Sound Localization*
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception*
  • Transducers*
  • Young Adult