The Benefit of Practice for Sound Localization without Sight

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Authors
  1. Abel, S.M.
  2. Paik, J.E.S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Abstract
An experiment was designed to determine whether normally sighted human subjects would be able to adapt to the handicapping effects of sudden deprivation of visual cues on horizontal plane sound localization. Two groups of sighted normal-hearing young adults participated. One group was allowed the benefit of sight. The other group was blindfolded. Measurements of accuracy and the time to respond were made daily over the course of five consecutive days, in a semi-reverberant sound proof booth that modeled listening in a small office. Sound localization was assessed using an array of eight speakers that surrounded the subject in space. Each day, one block of 120 trials was presented for each of three stimuli, two one-third octave noise bands, centered at 0.5 kHz and 4 kHz, and broadband noise, to assess the utilization of interaural temporal difference cues, interaural level difference cues and binaural and spectral cues in combination. Blindfolded subjects were relatively less accurate than sighted subjects. Both groups showed gains with practice, the blindfolded group to a greater degree, largely due to improvements in the use of spectral cues. The blindfolded group took longer to respond than the sighted group, but showed greater decrements with practice.

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Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2003-021 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Oct 2003
Number of Pages
14
Reprinted from
Applied Acoustics, vol 65, 2004, p 229-241
DSTKIM No
CA025710
CANDIS No
523413
Format(s):
CD ROM

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