Sound Localization

Sound Localization is the ability of humans and animals to determine the location or origin of a sound source. It involves the perception and interpretation of auditory cues and helps to provide spatial awareness in the auditory domain.

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  • Binaural Cues: Sound localization relies on binaural cues, which are differences in the properties of an auditory stimulus that reach each ear. These cues include interaural time differences (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs).
  • Interaural Time Differences: ITDs refer to the difference in time it takes for a sound to reach each ear. The brain uses this temporal disparity to determine the angle of the sound source.
  • Interaural Level Differences: ILDs represent the difference in sound intensity between the ears. By comparing the intensity of a sound at each ear, the brain can determine the direction of the sound.
  • Monoaural Cues: Monoaural cues are spectral and localization cues that rely on the characteristics of the sound itself, independent of binaural input.
  • Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF): HRTF is an individual’s unique filter that modifies sounds arriving at each ear based on the shape of their head, torso, and outer ears. It contributes significantly to sound localization in humans.