ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

3pPP8. Auditory spatial resolution in the horizontal plane as a function of reference angle: Microstructure of the azimuth function.

David W. Chandler

D. Wesley Grantham

Vanderbilt Univ. Div. of Hear. and Speech Sci. and The Bill Wilkerson Ctr., 1114 19th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212

Marjorie R. Leek

Walter Reed Army Med. Ctr., Washington, DC 20307-5001

Auditory spatial resolution in the horizontal plane was measured in five normal-hearing subjects by determining the minimum audible angle (MAA) for brief 1.0-kHz tones. Using a left--right discrimination paradigm, MAAs were determined for 22 reference azimuths ranging from -62(degrees) to +63(degrees). The gross pattern of the mean data was similar to that reported previously for more sparsely sampled azimuth functions: spatial resolution tended to be best when the reference sound was near midline, becoming worse as the reference moved toward the periphery. However, there were remarkable asymmetries and nonmonotonicities in individual subject's MAA versus azimuth functions, and these nonmonotonic features were highly subject-dependent. Although such individual differences may be due partly to differences among subjects in head and pinna shape, it is possible that the highly individual and idiosyncratic MAA functions also reflect subject-dependent nonmonotonicities in the underlying interaural time difference (ITD) discrimination functions as reference ITD is varied in fine increments. [Work supported by NIH and by the U.S. Army.] [sup a)]Current address: ENT/Audiology (HSHJ-SET-A), Madigan Army Med. Ctr., Tacoma, WA 98431-5374.