5aPP8. Changes in auditory localization responses are mediated by visual input.

Session: Friday Morning, June 20

Author: Barbara G. Shinn-Cunningham
Location: Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139
Author: John Park
Location: Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139


Previous studies have shown that, with training, subjects can learn a new relationship between spatial auditory stimuli and location [Shinn-Cunningham et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 92, 2334(A) (1994); 95, 2896(A) (1994)]. These earlier studies involved training in which subjects turned to face a heard and seen target source, followed by testing using a simple forced-choice identification paradigm. In the current study, subject localization was tested using a head-pointing response method. The amount of visual information available to the subject during training and testing was systematically varied. It was found that when subjects were blindfolded, they showed no changes in localization performance over time; however, if subjects were provided with a visual field, adaptation was achieved. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the felt position of the head is not an adequate cue to allow subjects to relearn localization responses, but that the addition of the visual field provides more robust information about the instantaneous position of the head so that learning can take place. [Work supported by the AFOSR.] [sup a)]Currently at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University.

ASA 133rd meeting - Penn State, June 1997