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Perceptual Models for Auditory Localization

The ability to localize the sources of sound depends primarily on interaural differences of time and level, although recent data suggest that the spectrum of the sound after it has passed the head and torso may also aid in sound localization. Most models of auditory localization attempt to describe how interaural time and level may be processed to indicate the source of sound in the azimuth plane. Cross-correlation of the information arriving at the two ears is the most widely used process in these perceptual models. Cross-correlation is often realized in a coincidence network. However a number of additional processes must be considered if such models are to account for the wide range of available localization data: the role of interaural level differences, the role of the precedence effect, changes in localization that occur when the sound's spectrum is complex, etc. This paper will describe some of the cross-correlation models and how they have attempted to deal with the issues discussed above, and will also describe a few other modeling attempts that are not based on cross-correlation. (Note: This work supported by grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.)

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