Binaural localization cues

Tom C.T. Yin and Shigeyuki Kuwada

in The Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: The Auditory Brain

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233281
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Binaural localization cues

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology


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Integrating inputs from the two ears gives the auditory system spatial information about the location of the sound source along the horizontal dimension. This article discusses the neural processing of the binaural localization cues in mammals. It shows that the important interaural cues for localizing a sound source along the horizontal plane are interaural time (ITDs) and interaural level disparities (ILDs). The two interaural cues, ITD and ILD, are not equally effective over all frequencies. Various factors on which these cues depend are discussed. Sensitivity to ITDs in the fine structure and envelopes of sounds in the superior olivary complex is seen in all major and higher structures. The article outlines two different methods that have been used to study ILD sensitivity. The coding of stimulus attributes by place is a common mechanism in the central nervous system and is described in detail.

Keywords: auditory system; binaural localization cues; interaural time; interaural level disparities; neural processing

Article.  15821 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Cognitive Psychology

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