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Auditory spatial precision in the horizontal plane

Stevenson-Hoare, Joshua 2020. Auditory spatial precision in the horizontal plane. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Our ability to localise sources of sound provides positional information about distal stimuli across the full sphere of possible directions. However, studies of auditory localisation have largely examined only the front hemifield and have typically used methods which are poor at capturing spatial precision. In this thesis a direct measure of spatial precision was performed for positions all around the horizontal plane. It was found that spatial precision shows an asymmetry between front and rear hemifields, such that precision was worse at oblique positions to the rear of a listener than at oblique positions to their front. This was found to be the case for tasks involving relative localisations of static sounds and judgements about the movement of sounds with and without head movements. Pinna cues were implicated as a source of this precision asymmetry. The pinnae were previously thought to only operate for discrimination between front and rear hemifields and judgements of elevation, so this is a novel finding for auditory spatial perception. A simple method of bypassing the outer ear was developed. It was found that the asymmetry was removed when the pinnae were bypassed. The pinnae were shown to provide additional information for location on the horizontal plane for sources whose origin is in the front hemifield and provide no additional information in the rear hemifield. It is this additional information which increases precision in the front hemifield on the horizontal plane, relative to the rear hemifield

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 14 December 2020
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 14:44
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/137017

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