Spectral weighting functions for lateralization and localization of complex sound

Monica L. Folkerts, G. Christopher Stecker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Perceptual weighting of sound localization cues across spectral components was measured over headphones [experiment (expt.) 1] and in the free field (expt. 2) and quantified in the form of spectral weighting functions (SWFs). Stimuli consisted of five complex sounds (conditions), each containing seven frequency components. Participants judged the spatial position of the stimuli with spatial cues varying across frequency components. In separate experiments, free-field stimuli were presented anechoically (expt. 2), in the presence of simulated reverberation (expt. 3), or with stimuli varying in level either corrected for equal loudness (expt. 4.1) or sloped by ±6 dB per component (expt. 4.2). Overall results revealed greatest weight in the vicinity of 800 Hz, for both localization and interaural time difference (ITD)-based lateralization, although specific features of the SWFs did vary across stimulus conditions. The shape of the SWF follows the pattern of ITD sensitivity across frequency and is consistent with previous descriptions of an ITD "dominance region"peaking around 600-800 Hz. The close similarity of free field and ITD-based SWFs is further consistent with the hypothesized dominant role of low-frequency ITD in localization of broadband sounds. Other conditions revealed relatively modest effects of reverberation and component level.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3409-3425
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 1 2022

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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