Spatial consistency as a cue for segregation and localization

Brian D. Simpson, Robert Gilkey, Eric R. Thompson*, Douglas Brungart, Nandini Iyer, Griffin Romigh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Many real-world auditory scenes are dynamic and complex, with multiple sounds that may change location over time. In this experiment, we examined the ability of listeners to localize a spatially-consistent target sound in a dynamic, spatially-varying auditory scene. The target and masker stimuli were composed of sequences of 60-ms bursts of uncorrelated noise (2 to 16 bursts in duration) and differed only in their degree of spatial consistency. Specifically, each target burst within a sequence came from the same spatial location (which varied from trial to trial), whereas each masker burst within a sequence came from a different, randomly chosen spatial location. The listener's task was to localize the spatially-consistent sequence. Localization errors decreased by approximately 11° with each doubling of the sequence duration, and approached quiet performance with 16-burst sequences. Adding a second masker increased localization errors by approximately 14° overall. These results suggest that spatial information can be combined across multiple observations over time to identify and localize a spatially-consistent target in a dynamic auditory scene. These data will be discussed in terms of the information obtained from each burst and the manner in which the information is combined across bursts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number050140
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2013
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 2 Jun 20137 Jun 2013


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