When we listen outside the laboratory, sounds definitely appear to be at the sound source. When a door closes, the sound is subjectively at the doorway, the typewriter noise is at the typewriter, etc. We may speak analytically of the sound reaching our ears, but only under unusual conditions do we actually get that subjective impression. This is a very fortunate state of affairs, for it greatly enhances the usefulness of the auditory sensory input. Let’s inspect this aspect of hearing a little more broadly. When we listen in the usual environment, the location of several sound sources is usually automatically and simultaneously apparent. As I write this, the sounds of traffic through a window on my left seem quite distinct spatially from the constant whirring of a computer fan through the door in front of me, and I need make no effort to separate these from the sounds in a secretary’s office through a door to my right. I have around me an auditory space nearly as useful to me as the more intuitively obvious visual space. The comparison is not really seriously intended; the two spaces are complementary, not competitive.
KeywordsPulse Train Sound Source Pure Tone Interaural Time Difference Auditory Space
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