Elementary Experiments in Psychology

By Carl E. Seashore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
AUDITORY SPACE

For Two.*

THERE are three aspects of the problem of auditory space; namely, direction, distance, and volume. The present chapter is devoted to the problem of hearing the direction of sound.

The experiments in this chapter should be helpful in answering such questions as: Is the ear a space-sense organ? How do we perceive the direction of sound by hearing? What are some of the laws of localization?

Produce the sound, which is to be localized, by snap

____________________
*
These experiments must be performed at some other time than during the class period, unless there is opportunity for the class to scatter into different rooms or out of doors. Two students must work together; the one who manipulates the apparatus is called the experimenter, (E), and the one on whom the experiment is performed is called the observer, (O). Each takes turn as E and O for each experiment. E always keeps the record obtained as experimenter; thus each preserves the record of the other. O should be blindfolded and seated comfortably in such a position that he can hold his head erect and steady in a given position during an experiment.
There is difference of opinion as to whether or not the ear is a space-sense organ. Those who hold that it is not a space­ sense organ base their opinion largely upon two anatomical facts: (1) that the portion of the ear which is the organ of hearing possesses no spread-out surface such that an arrangement of stimulations upon it may represent the spatial relations of the external world; and (2) that the ear is unprovided with a muscular apparatus for focusing itself for different directions. In these respects the ear is contrasted with the visual and tactual arrangements for perception of space.

It is also well to bear in mind the chief theories of localiza

-55-

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