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Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the pinnae and sound localisation along the mid-line Four hundred and eleven participants were tested in normal and distorted conditions at various positions on the mid-line Each participant was tested for sound localisation in three positions using the same sound source a set of car keys The hypothesis that the pinnae play an important role in sound localisation along the mid-line is clearly supported Sound localization is as important as the ability to perceive sound itself Most humans are not aware or tend to ignore the ability to locate a particular sound source in space The understanding of how to locate a sound source is an integral part of enhancing normal hearing and the hearing impaired population The key to locating sounds is in fact having two ears roughly six inches apart on opposite sides of the head When sound comes from our right it has less distance to travel to reach the right ear than the left ear The interaural time differences ITD may be very small but is enough for us to sense and process Another way humans process location is by comparing interaural intensity difference IID The farther ear receives a sound of less intensity than the closer ear because our heads absorb some of the sound going to the farther ear It seems that the ITD method is better for low frequency sounds and the IID method is better for high frequency sounds If a sound comes from a source equidistant from our ears mid-line arriving at both ears simultaneously humans are easily confused with this we draw on one of our hypotheses that sound localisation is possible in the midline A previous study data obtained by positioning a sound source firstly 6000 Hz then 200Hz at various points around the horizontal plane of an artificial head was outfitted with microphones in each ear Shaw 1974 cited
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