Auditory space

Daniel Starch
1911 Psychological bulletin  
Recent contributions on the localization of sound deal mainly with the factors on which the perception of direction and distance depends. Dunlap (i) made a comparison of monaural and binaural localization. The stimulus was given at forty-eight different positions, on the sphere described by the arm of Pillsbury's sound perimeter. The observers indicated the estimated locations either by pointing or by marking the position on a chart. When only one ear was used the other ear was closed with
more » ... as closed with cotton and paste. The results are rather indefinite. There seems to be very little relation between the estimated and the actual location of the sounds. Each observer showed preferences for locating all sounds in certain regions, but these preferences varied from time to time. The principal difference between monaural and binaural localization seemed to be that in the former case the sounds were displaced toward the ear in use. Intensity as a factor in determining distance was the problem of Miss Gamble's (3) investigation. Two series of experiments were made. In the first series it was shown that the perception of liminal differences in distance roughly conforms to Weber's law. In the second series two stimuli were given which were either of the same intensity but at different distances, or of different intensities but at the same distance. The observers, who did not know how the stimuli were manipulated, stated on the basis of their observations what the differences seemed to be. A large number of judgments were obtained from numerous observers with the positive result that "intensity is the main criterion in estimating the distance of sounds." 'Nearer' and 'louder,' and 'farther' and 'softer' are practically interchangeable characteristics. The experiment made by Starch and Crawford (4) relates to the measurement of the distance threshold in different directions. Thirteen directions in the right semicircle, on a level with the ears, were tested to determine whether the least perceptible difference in distance of a uniform stimulus was constant in all directions. The measurements on eight observers consistently indicated that the distance threshold is uniform in all directions tested and that it is approximately one sixth of the absolute distance from the head. The tests
doi:10.1037/h0075608 fatcat:5aphuvwmaje3phn4txyr6yiota