The Role of Vision in Sound Localization

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Three experiments examined the role of vision in locating a brief sound (2-sec. speech noise) from an unseen source in the horizontal left front quadrant. The head could be freely moved. Subjects could point to the sound location more accurately with eyes open. However, since in a second study the accuracy of pointing a finger was poorer than for aiming one's eyes at the sound, the effect in the first study may reflect using vision to calibrate the hand location. A third study showed no difference in accuracy of aiming one's eyes at a sound when eyes were open versus closed during presentation of sound. More accurate auditory localization with eyes open than closed was not supported.

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