Asymmetric transfer of sound localization learning between indistinguishable interaural cues
2014 (English)In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 232, no 6, 1707-1716 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Learning in perceptual tasks is typically highly specific to the trained stimulus parameters. However, can learning be specific to a stimulus parameter that is perceptually indistinguishable from another? We assessed this question using a perceived sound location task in which the perceived sound location was created through either an interaural time difference (ITD) cue or an interaural level difference (ILD) cue. We used the same transient, broadband sound (clicks) for both cues, and after training on one of the cues, listeners switched cue mid-session. This allowed us to assess cue specificity or transfer when the subjectively unnoticed cue switch occurred. One group of listeners improved their ITD performance as a function of training, but deteriorated in performance when switching to ILD in mid training session. Another group of listeners started with ILD training; their improved performance level did not deteriorate as they switched to the ITD cue. This transfer asymmetry was not hypothesized, and we therefore extended our study with a second data collection. Both the training effect and the transfer asymmetry remained after the second data collection. Our results indicate (a) listeners can improve both their ITD and ILD performance for click sounds, extending previous findings on tones; (b) learning can be specific to a stimulus parameter that is indistinguishable from another, as ITD learning did not transfer to ILD performance; but (c) ILD learning can transfer to ITD performance. This transfer asymmetry may have occurred because of how ITD and ILD are coded in early brainstem areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 232, no 6, 1707-1716 p.
Sound localization, Perceptual learning, Transfer, Interaural time difference, Interaural level difference
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-105903DOI: 10.1007/s00221-014-3863-7ISI: 000336732400011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-105903DiVA: diva2:733367