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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

On-line version ISSN 1982-0232

Abstract

OLIVEIRA, Aline Cabral de et al. Sound localization: the relevance of interaural differences in auditory thresholds. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.1, pp.7-11. ISSN 1982-0232.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-80342008000100004.

PURPOSE: To relate the differences between left and right ears' auditory thresholds and rate of correct/incorrect responses in sound localization tasks placed in reverberant environments. METHODS: The following tests were carried out: otoscopy, pure tone audiometry, impedanciometry and otoacoustic emissions. All 56 volunteers presented normal hearing results in all tests. After that, the volunteers were submitted to a sound localization test, in which square waves of 500 Hz, 2000 Hz and 4000 Hz were used. Stimuli were presented fifteen times in each one of the thirteen space positions of the device used, for each frequency tested. Therefore, a total number of 585 stimuli were presented for each subject. RESULTS: Data analysis showed that the sample had subjects with ages between 18 and 50 years, the average difference between right and left ears' auditory thresholds was 6,81 dB, and percentage of correct answers on the sound localization test was within normal values. No significant correlations were found between interaural differences and localization abilities. CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed that, for people with normal hearing, the auditory thresholds variations and interaural differences until 10 dB do not interfere on sound localization.

Keywords : Auditory threshold; Hearing; Ear.

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