Sound localization in large mammals: Localization of complex sounds by horses

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The idea that large mammals localize sounds more accurately than small mammals has been noted frequently and is usually explained by reference to their large interaural distance and the correspondingly broad binaural time (Δt) and spectral (Δfi) differences between their 2 ears. In Exps I and II, sound-localization thresholds for single clicks and 100-msec noise bursts were determined in 5 horses, and the magnitude of the binaural time (Δt) and spectral (Δfi) cues for sound direction were measured in Exp III with 1 horse. Results show that although Ss had relatively large interaural distances and physically broad binaural-localization cues available to them, their sound direction thresholds were markedly poorer than those of other large mammals–averaging 22° for noise and 30° for clicks. It appears that sound-localization acuity is not determined simply by the physical availability of binaural cues. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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