Lateralization of bands of noise and sinusoidally amplitude-modulated tones: effects of spectral locus and bandwidth

J Acoust Soc Am. 1986 Jun;79(6):1950-7. doi: 10.1121/1.393202.


Lateralization of narrow bands of noise was investigated while varying interaural temporal disparity (ITD), center frequency, and bandwidth, utilizing an acoustic pointing task. Stimuli were narrow bands of noise centered at octave intervals between 500 Hz and 4 kHz with bandwidths ranging from 50-400 Hz. In a second experiment, lateralization for bands of noise and sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (SAM) tones, whose spectral content was constrained to be no lower than 3.8 kHz, was assessed. Overall, relatively large extents of laterality were obtained from all four listeners for ITDs of low-frequency bands of noise. Increasing the bandwidth of these noises did not yield consistent changes in the extent of laterality across ITDs and listeners. Most targets centered at high frequencies were lateralized near the midline. However, three of the four listeners did exhibit rather large displacements of the intracranial image when the bandwidth of the high-frequency noises was 400 Hz or greater. Interestingly, ITDs within high-frequency SAM tones were relatively ineffective. Thus, it appears that ITDs of relatively wide-band, high-frequency stimuli can mediate rather substantial extents of laterality. However, these effects are highly listener-dependent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hearing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors