Readings in Perception

By David C. Beardslee; Michael Wertheimer | Go to book overview
an accuracy of localization greater than that obtainable with pure tones.
CONCLUSIONS
The ability to localize tones varies markedly with frequency. It is approximately constant below 1000 cycles, drops rapidly to a minimum between 2000 and 4000 cycles, and rises again to its former level at higher frequencies. See Fig. 1.
The error of localization is smallest for tones located near the median plane and increases as the tone is moved toward the side of the O. The relation between the azimuth of the tone and the error of localization is approximately the same for both high and low frequencies.
The confusion of positions lying in the quadrant in front of the O with those in the quadrant behind him is very frequent. Below 3000 cycles the frequency of such reversals was about that which should be given by chance. Above 3000 cycles it was only about one third of the chance value.
Noises (a click and a hiss) were localized more readily than any of the tones. Differences of quality and intensity were discernible between different positions of the noises.
All of the above facts are consistent with the hypothesis that the localization of low tones is made on the basis of phase- differences at the two ears, and that the localization of high tones is made on the basis of intensitive differences. There is a band of intermediate frequencies near 3000 cycles in which neither phase nor intensity is very effective and in which localization is poorest.

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