What is it about?

Using headphones, we measured the smallest across-ear or interaural level differences that normal-hearing individuals can detect. The measurements were made over a large range of frequencies (low frequencies around 750 Hz, mid frequencies around 2000 Hz, and high frequencies around 4000 Hz). When remote frequency information was added with no across-ear differences (thus probing the across frequency processing of the binaural auditory pathways), the pattern of performance was non-monotonic, variable, and not predictable from our current knowledge of across-ear level difference processing.

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Why is it important?

While much is known about how we localize sounds using across-ear timing differences, much less is known about across-ear level differences. This study is important for better understanding how the brain determines where sound sources come from in highly reverberant rooms (i.e., a large cathedral) or for those who use bionic auditory prostheses (i.e., cochlear implants).


Previously, across-ear level difference processing was thought to be mostly frequency independent. This study shows that this is clearly not the case and therefore provides data to improve and refine binaural models. Furthermore, this study suggests a path to better understand of sound localization in reverberant environments or with cochlear implants.

Dr. Matthew J Goupell
University System of Maryland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Across-channel interaural-level-difference processing demonstrates frequency dependence, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, February 2018, Acoustical Society of America (ASA), DOI: 10.1121/1.5021552.
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