Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 59, Issue 7, pp 1018–1026 | Cite as

The contribution of head motion cues to localization of low-pass noise

  • Stephen Perrett
  • William NobleEmail author


Localization of low-pass sounds was tested in relation to aspects of Wallach’s (1939, 1940) hypotheses about the role of head movement in front/back and elevation discrimination. With a 3-sec signal, free movement of the head offered only small advantage over a single rotation through 45° for detecting elevation differences. Very slight rotation, as observed using a 0.5-sec signal, seemed sufficient to prevent front/back confusion. Cluster analysis showed that, in detecting elevation, some listeners benefited from rotation, some benefited from natural movement, and some from both. Evidence was found indicating that a moving auditory system generates information for the whereabouts of sounds, even when the movement does not result in the listener facing the source. Results offer significant if partial support for Wallach’s hypotheses.


Azimuth Angle Head Rotation Rotation Condition Noise Burst Wallach 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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