Author(s): Good MD, Gilkey RH
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Abstract The sound localization ability of human observers has been frequently examined in quiet environments, but there have been relatively few studies that have considered the effect of noise on sound localization. In this study, three subjects judged the perceived direction of broadband click-train signal in the quiet and in the presence of a broadband noise at nine signal-to-noise ratios, which varied over a 23 dB range. The signal could originate from any of 239 spatial locations that completely surrounded the subjects in azimuth 360 degrees) and ranged from -45 degrees to (+)90 degrees in elevation; the masker (when present) was always located directly in front of the subjects at 0 degrees azimuth and 0 degree elevation. The subjects indicated the perceived direction of the signal by pointing at a 20-cm-diam spherical model of auditory space. As the signal-to-noise ratio was lowered, the accuracy of localization judgments decreased nearly monotonically. However, the accuracy of judgments relative to the median plane (i.e., the left/right dimension) was less strongly influenced by the presence of noise than was the accuracy of judgments relative to the horizontal plane (i.e., the up/down dimension). The accuracy of judgments relative to the frontal plane (i.e., the front/back dimension) was most strongly influenced by noise.
This article was published in J Acoust Soc Am
and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology