The precedence effect in sound localization can be evoked by presenting identical sounds (e.g., clicks) from pairs of loudspeakers placed on opposite sides of a subject's head. With appropriate inter-loudspeaker delays, normal subjects perceive a fused image originating from the side of the leading loudspeaker. Separate tests at loudspeaker delays ranging from 0 to 8 ms were presented to groups of young and elderly subjects. At 0 ms delay, young subjects perceived the fused image to be located halfway between the loudspeakers; at progressively longer delays, the image was perceived closer to the leading loudspeaker. Significant numbers of elderly subjects exhibited discrimination difficulties with delays below 0.7 ms.
KEY WORDS: hearing, localization, precedence, temporal integration, binaural
Submitted on November 29, 1989
Accepted on May 2, 1990