sound localization


Summary: Ability to determine the specific location of a sound source.

Top Publications

  1. Bremen P, Middlebrooks J. Weighting of spatial and spectro-temporal cues for auditory scene analysis by human listeners. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e59815 pubmed publisher
    ..Substantially greater improvement was seen for low-frequency sounds, for which interaural time differences are the dominant spatial cue. ..
  2. Middlebrooks J, Onsan Z. Stream segregation with high spatial acuity. J Acoust Soc Am. 2012;132:3896-911 pubmed publisher
  3. Agterberg M, Snik A, Hol M, Van Wanrooij M, Van Opstal A. Contribution of monaural and binaural cues to sound localization in listeners with acquired unilateral conductive hearing loss: improved directional hearing with a bone-conduction device. Hear Res. 2012;286:9-18 pubmed
    b>Sound localization in the horizontal (azimuth) plane relies mainly on interaural time differences (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs)...
  4. Van Barneveld D, Binkhorst F, Van Opstal A. Absence of compensation for vestibular-evoked passive head rotations in human sound localization. Eur J Neurosci. 2011;34:1149-60 pubmed publisher
    ..When appropriately combined with self-motion signals, sound localization remains spatially accurate...
  5. Walker K, Bizley J, King A, Schnupp J. Multiplexed and robust representations of sound features in auditory cortex. J Neurosci. 2011;31:14565-76 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we observed that formant information is encoded in cortex earlier than pitch information, and we show that this time course matches ferrets' behavioral reaction time differences on a change detection task. ..
  6. La Buissonnière Ariza V, Frasnelli J, Collignon O, Lepore F. Olfactory priming leads to faster sound localization. Neurosci Lett. 2012;506:188-92 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest facilitative effects of odorous cues independent of a possible trigeminal component in the interaction between olfaction and audition. ..
  7. Roberts M, Seeman S, Golding N. A mechanistic understanding of the role of feedforward inhibition in the mammalian sound localization circuitry. Neuron. 2013;78:923-35 pubmed publisher
    ..The interplay between inhibition and potassium conductances thus improves the consistency and resolution of ITD coding across different frequencies. ..
  8. Portfors C, von Gersdorff H. Macrocircuits for sound localization use leaky coincidence detectors and specialized synapses. Neuron. 2013;78:755-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Studies by van der Heijden et al. (2013) and Roberts et al. (2013) in this issue of Neuron shed light on how this is accomplished by the interaction of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. ..
  9. Brown D, Macpherson T, Ward J. Seeing with sound? exploring different characteristics of a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device. Perception. 2011;40:1120-35 pubmed
    ..In general, the results suggest that the auditory characteristics of the device may be more important for initial learning than visual associations. ..

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Kerber S, Seeber B. Sound localization in noise by normal-hearing listeners and cochlear implant users. Ear Hear. 2012;33:445-57 pubmed publisher
    This study aimed to characterize horizontal plane sound localization in interfering noise at different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and to compare performance across normal-hearing listeners and users of unilateral and bilateral cochlear ..
  2. Tang Z, Lu Y. Two GABAA responses with distinct kinetics in a sound localization circuit. J Physiol. 2012;590:3787-805 pubmed publisher neurons of the chicken nucleus laminaris (NL), the first encoder of interaural time difference for sound localization in birds...
  3. Stange A, Myoga M, Lingner A, Ford M, Alexandrova O, Felmy F, et al. Adaptation in sound localization: from GABA(B) receptor-mediated synaptic modulation to perception. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16:1840-7 pubmed publisher has long been assumed that the processing of interaural time differences, which is the primary cue for sound localization, is nonadaptive, as its outputs are mapped directly onto a hard-wired representation of space...
  4. Neher T, Laugesen S, Jensen N, Kragelund L. Can basic auditory and cognitive measures predict hearing-impaired listeners' localization and spatial speech recognition abilities?. J Acoust Soc Am. 2011;130:1542-58 pubmed publisher
    ..basic auditory and cognitive processes that affect listeners' performance on two spatial listening tasks: sound localization and speech recognition in spatially complex, multi-talker situations...
  5. Maddox R, Shinn Cunningham B. Influence of task-relevant and task-irrelevant feature continuity on selective auditory attention. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2012;13:119-29 pubmed publisher
  6. Hoover A, Harris L, Steeves J. Sensory compensation in sound localization in people with one eye. Exp Brain Res. 2012;216:565-74 pubmed publisher
    ..To look for evidence of auditory-visual cross-modal compensation, we measured binaural and monaural sound localization in one-eyed people and compared them with normally sighted controls...
  7. Lee C, Middlebrooks J. Specialization for sound localization in fields A1, DZ, and PAF of cat auditory cortex. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2013;14:61-82 pubmed publisher
    ..implicated the primary auditory cortex (A1), the dorsal zone (DZ), and the posterior auditory field (PAF) in sound localization behavior, and physiological studies in anesthetized conditions have demonstrated clear differences in ..
  8. Gai Y, Ruhland J, Yin T, Tollin D. Behavioral and modeling studies of sound localization in cats: effects of stimulus level and duration. J Neurophysiol. 2013;110:607-20 pubmed publisher
    b>Sound localization accuracy in elevation can be affected by sound spectrum alteration...
  9. Ahveninen J, Kopco N, Jaaskelainen I. Psychophysics and neuronal bases of sound localization in humans. Hear Res. 2014;307:86-97 pubmed publisher
    ..This review discusses behavioral and neuroimaging studies on sound localization, and some of the competing models of representation of auditory space in humans...
  10. Lewald J. Exceptional ability of blind humans to hear sound motion: implications for the emergence of auditory space. Neuropsychologia. 2013;51:181-6 pubmed publisher
  11. Kopco N, Huang S, Belliveau J, Raij T, Tengshe C, Ahveninen J. Neuronal representations of distance in human auditory cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:11019-24 pubmed publisher
  12. Jalabi W, Kopp Scheinpflug C, Allen P, Schiavon E, DiGiacomo R, Forsythe I, et al. Sound localization ability and glycinergic innervation of the superior olivary complex persist after genetic deletion of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body. J Neurosci. 2013;33:15044-9 pubmed publisher
    ..body (MNTB) in the superior olivary complex (SOC) is an inhibitory hub considered critical for binaural sound localization. We show that genetic ablation of MNTB neurons in mice only subtly affects this ability by prolonging the ..
  13. Nambu I, Ebisawa M, Kogure M, Yano S, Hokari H, Wada Y. Estimating the intended sound direction of the user: toward an auditory brain-computer interface using out-of-head sound localization. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e57174 pubmed publisher
    ..We investigated the possibility of an auditory BCI using the out-of-head sound localization technique, which enables us to present virtual auditory stimuli to users from any direction, through ..
  14. Kuśmierek P, Ortiz M, Rauschecker J. Sound-identity processing in early areas of the auditory ventral stream in the macaque. J Neurophysiol. 2012;107:1123-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we show that population analysis is a more sensitive method for revealing functional specialization than conventional types of analysis. ..
  15. Francart T, Lenssen A, Wouters J. Enhancement of interaural level differences improves sound localization in bimodal hearing. J Acoust Soc Am. 2011;130:2817-26 pubmed publisher
  16. Phillips D, Quinlan C, Dingle R. Stability of central binaural sound localization mechanisms in mammals, and the Heffner hypothesis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012;36:889-900 pubmed publisher
    Heffner (2004) provided an overview of data on the evolutionary pressures on sound localization acuity in mammals...
  17. Recanzone G, Engle J, Juarez Salinas D. Spatial and temporal processing of single auditory cortical neurons and populations of neurons in the macaque monkey. Hear Res. 2011;271:115-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Together these studies indicate that the alert macaque monkey is an excellent model system to study both spatial and temporal processing in the auditory cortex at the single neuron level. ..
  18. Heffner H. A two-choice sound localization procedure for detecting lateralized tinnitus in animals. Behav Res Methods. 2011;43:577-89 pubmed publisher
    ..Exposing rats to loud tones of various frequencies indicated that frequencies near the limits of the rat's hearing range were less likely to cause tinnitus than tones in the midrange. ..
  19. Collignon O, Davare M, De Volder A, Poirier C, Olivier E, Veraart C. Time-course of posterior parietal and occipital cortex contribution to sound localization. J Cogn Neurosci. 2008;20:1454-63 pubmed publisher
    ..The finding that the right OC is involved in sound processing before the right PPC suggests that the OC exerts a feedforward influence on the PPC during auditory spatial processing. ..
  20. Fischer B, Christianson G, Pena J. Cross-correlation in the auditory coincidence detectors of owls. J Neurosci. 2008;28:8107-15 pubmed publisher
    Interaural time difference (ITD) plays a central role in many auditory functions, most importantly in sound localization. The classic model for how ITD is computed was put forth by Jeffress (1948)...
  21. Van Deun L, van Wieringen A, Van den Bogaert T, Scherf F, Offeciers F, Van de Heyning P, et al. Sound localization, sound lateralization, and binaural masking level differences in young children with normal hearing. Ear Hear. 2009;30:178-90 pubmed publisher
    In this study, procedures for measuring sound localization, sound lateralization, and binaural masking level differences (BMLDs) in young children were developed...
  22. Pérez M, SHANBHAG S, Pena J. Auditory spatial tuning at the crossroads of the midbrain and forebrain. J Neurophysiol. 2009;102:1472-82 pubmed publisher
    ..The differences observed at the initial stages of these sound-localization pathways may reflect diverse functions and coding schemes of midbrain and forebrain...
  23. Salminen N, May P, Alku P, Tiitinen H. A population rate code of auditory space in the human cortex. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e7600 pubmed publisher
    ..This indicates that the neuronal code of sound source location implemented by the human auditory cortex is similar to that previously found in other primates. ..
  24. Seeber B, Hafter E. Failure of the precedence effect with a noise-band vocoder. J Acoust Soc Am. 2011;129:1509-21 pubmed publisher
    ..An interpretation in the context of auditory scene analysis is proposed: By replacing the TFS with that of noise the auditory system loses the ability to fuse lead and lag into one object, and thus to show the PE. ..
  25. Andéol G, Guillaume A, Micheyl C, Savel S, Pellieux L, Moulin A. Auditory efferents facilitate sound localization in noise in humans. J Neurosci. 2011;31:6759-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Behavioral studies in animals with olivocochlear (OC) lesions suggest that the MOC serves to facilitate sound localization in noise...
  26. Allen K, Alais D, Carlile S. Speech intelligibility reduces over distance from an attended location: evidence for an auditory spatial gradient of attention. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2009;71:164-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Spatial release from masking (RFM) was only found for the attended location. Further experiments suggest that target location uncertainty prevented RFM at unattended locations. ..
  27. Strelcyk O, Dau T. Relations between frequency selectivity, temporal fine-structure processing, and speech reception in impaired hearing. J Acoust Soc Am. 2009;125:3328-45 pubmed publisher
    ..The results provide constraints for future models of impaired auditory signal processing. ..
  28. Recanzone G, Cohen Y. Serial and parallel processing in the primate auditory cortex revisited. Behav Brain Res. 2010;206:1-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Why this should be the case and how to better test this hypothesis is also discussed. ..
  29. Maier J, McAlpine D, Klump G, Pressnitzer D. Context effects in the discriminability of spatial cues. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2010;11:319-28 pubmed publisher
    ..These results are compatible with a purely bottom-up mechanism based on adaptive coding of ITD around the midline that may be combined with top-down mechanisms to increase localization accuracy in realistic listening conditions. ..
  30. Bajo V, Nodal F, Moore D, King A. The descending corticocollicular pathway mediates learning-induced auditory plasticity. Nat Neurosci. 2010;13:253-60 pubmed publisher
    ..We examined the role of these neurons in experience-dependent recalibration of sound localization in adult ferrets by selectively killing the neurons using chromophore-targeted laser photolysis...
  31. Grothe B, Koch U. Dynamics of binaural processing in the mammalian sound localization pathway--the role of GABA(B) receptors. Hear Res. 2011;279:43-50 pubmed publisher
  32. Hausmann L, von Campenhausen M, Endler F, Singheiser M, Wagner H. Improvements of sound localization abilities by the facial ruff of the barn owl (Tyto alba) as demonstrated by virtual ruff removal. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e7721 pubmed publisher
    ..ITD), interaural intensity differences (ILD), and the frequency spectrum of the incoming sound to improve sound localization. Here we created novel stimuli to simulate the removal of the barn owl's ruff in a virtual acoustic ..
  33. May B, Anderson M, Roos M. The role of broadband inhibition in the rate representation of spectral cues for sound localization in the inferior colliculus. Hear Res. 2008;238:77-93 pubmed publisher
    ..The directionally dependent modulation of narrowband ON-BF excitation by broadband OFF-BF inhibition was not a unique property of type O units. ..
  34. Lewald J, Peters S, Corballis M, Hausmann M. Perception of stationary and moving sound following unilateral cortectomy. Neuropsychologia. 2009;47:962-71 pubmed publisher
    ..One may assume that the cortical "motion network" is distinct from the "stationary network", and is located either in the most posterior aspects of temporal lobe, or in non-temporal, most likely parietal, areas. ..
  35. Schnupp J, Carr C. On hearing with more than one ear: lessons from evolution. Nat Neurosci. 2009;12:692-7 pubmed publisher
    ..We also ask how these different adaptations for binaural and spatial hearing might inform and inspire the development of techniques for future auditory prosthetic devices. ..
  36. Getzmann S, Lewald J. Effects of natural versus artificial spatial cues on electrophysiological correlates of auditory motion. Hear Res. 2010;259:44-54 pubmed publisher
  37. Lee C, Middlebrooks J. Auditory cortex spatial sensitivity sharpens during task performance. Nat Neurosci. 2011;14:108-14 pubmed publisher
    Activity in the primary auditory cortex (A1) is essential for normal sound localization behavior, but previous studies of the spatial sensitivity of neurons in A1 have found broad spatial tuning...
  38. Chase S, Young E. Cues for sound localization are encoded in multiple aspects of spike trains in the inferior colliculus. J Neurophysiol. 2008;99:1672-82 pubmed publisher
    ..The differential coding of the localization cues suggests that information about multiple cues could be multiplexed onto the responses of single neurons. ..
  39. Ebert C, Blanks D, Patel M, Coffey C, Marshall A, Fitzpatrick D. Behavioral sensitivity to interaural time differences in the rabbit. Hear Res. 2008;235:134-42 pubmed
    An important cue for sound localization and separation of signals from noise is the interaural time difference (ITD). Humans are able to localize sounds within 1-2 degrees and can detect very small changes in the ITD (10-20micros)...
  40. Kumpik D, Kacelnik O, King A. Adaptive reweighting of auditory localization cues in response to chronic unilateral earplugging in humans. J Neurosci. 2010;30:4883-94 pubmed publisher
    ..Previous studies indicate that the brain circuits underlying sound localization are calibrated by experience of the cues available to each individual...
  41. Devore S, Delgutte B. Effects of reverberation on the directional sensitivity of auditory neurons across the tonotopic axis: influences of interaural time and level differences. J Neurosci. 2010;30:7826-37 pubmed publisher
    ..reflections interfere with the direct sound arriving at a listener's ears, distorting the binaural cues for sound localization. We investigated the effects of reverberation on the directional sensitivity of single neurons in the ..
  42. Goodman D, Brette R. Spike-timing-based computation in sound localization. PLoS Comput Biol. 2010;6:e1000993 pubmed publisher
    ..The model demonstrates the computational relevance of relative spike timing to extract spatial information about sources independently of the source signal. ..
  43. Van Barneveld D, John Van Opstal A. Eye position determines audiovestibular integration during whole-body rotation. Eur J Neurosci. 2010;31:920-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Consequently, the subjective auditory median plane (AMP) (the plane where the binaural difference cues for sound localization are perceived to be zero) shifts in the direction of body rotation...
  44. Slee S, Young E. Information conveyed by inferior colliculus neurons about stimuli with aligned and misaligned sound localization cues. J Neurophysiol. 2011;106:974-85 pubmed publisher
    ..that single neurons in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) are sensitive to multiple sound localization cues...
  45. Carr C, Soares D, Smolders J, Simon J. Detection of interaural time differences in the alligator. J Neurosci. 2009;29:7978-90 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, crocodilians and birds employ similar algorithms for ITD detection, although crocodilians have larger heads. ..
  46. Grothe B, Pecka M, McAlpine D. Mechanisms of sound localization in mammals. Physiol Rev. 2010;90:983-1012 pubmed publisher
    ..on recent advances in the understanding of mammalian subcortical processing of auditory spatial cues that challenge the "textbook" version of sound localization, in particular brain mechanisms contributing to binaural hearing.
  47. Van Deun L, van Wieringen A, Scherf F, Deggouj N, Desloovere C, Offeciers F, et al. Earlier intervention leads to better sound localization in children with bilateral cochlear implants. Audiol Neurootol. 2010;15:7-17 pubmed publisher
    We present sound localization results from 30 children with bilateral cochlear implants. All children received their implants sequentially, at ages from 6 months to 9 years for the first implant and 1...
  48. Ashida G, Carr C. Sound localization: Jeffress and beyond. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011;21:745-51 pubmed publisher
    ..The latest advances in recording and analysis techniques provide powerful tools for both overcoming and utilizing the large field potentials in these nuclei. ..
  49. Higgins N, Storace D, Escabi M, Read H. Specialization of binaural responses in ventral auditory cortices. J Neurosci. 2010;30:14522-32 pubmed publisher
    ..SRAF had the highest incidence of binaural facilitation for ILD cues corresponding to midline positions, supporting current theories that auditory cortices have specialized and hierarchical functional organization. ..
  50. Hausmann L, Plachta D, Singheiser M, Brill S, Wagner H. In-flight corrections in free-flying barn owls (Tyto alba) during sound localization tasks. J Exp Biol. 2008;211:2976-88 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the ability of barn owls to adapt their flight path to a new sound target depends on the in-flight stimulus delay, as well as on the distance between initial and novel targets. ..
  51. Joris P, Michelet P, Franken T, McLaughlin M. Variations on a Dexterous theme: peripheral time-intensity trading. Hear Res. 2008;238:49-57 pubmed publisher
    ..A., 1948. A place theory of sound localization. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 41, 35-39)...
  52. Dent M, McClaine E, Best V, Ozmeral E, Narayan R, Gallun F, et al. Spatial unmasking of birdsong in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). J Comp Psychol. 2009;123:357-67 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that spatial factors are important for birds in the identification of natural signals in noisy environments...
  53. Hartley D, Dahmen J, King A, Schnupp J. Binaural sensitivity changes between cortical on and off responses. J Neurophysiol. 2011;106:30-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Rather than reflecting a release from inhibition without any functional significance, we propose that binaural off responses may be important to cortical encoding of sound-source location. ..