minimum audible angle

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A measure of the acuity of binaural sound localization in the horizontal plane, equal to the smallest difference in the direction of two sound sources that can be reliably detected. In humans it is usually in the region of two degrees under ideal conditions, whereas in the barn owl, which relies entirely on its hearing to locate fieldmice and other prey in total darkness, it is close to one degree in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions, more acute than that of any other species whose hearing has been tested. Also called the minimal audible angle. MAA abbrev.

Subjects: Psychology.

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