Audiovisual Interactions in Stereo Sound Localization for Individuals With Unilateral Hearing Loss

Emily J. Venskytis, Colton Clayton, Christopher Montagne, Yi Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of unilateral hearing loss (UHL), of either conductive or sensorineural origin, on stereo sound localization and related visual bias in listeners with normal hearing, short-term (acute) UHL, and chronic UHL. Time-delay-based stereophony was used to isolate interaural-time-difference cues for sound source localization in free field. Listeners with acute moderate (<40 dB for tens of minutes) and chronic severe (>50 dB for more than 10 years) UHL showed poor localization and compressed auditory space that favored the intact ear. Listeners with chronic moderate (<50 dB for more than 12 years) UHL performed near normal. These results show that the auditory spatial mechanisms that allow stereo localization become less sensitive to moderate UHL in the long term. Presenting LED flashes at either the same or a different location as the sound source elicited visual bias in all groups but to different degrees. Hearing loss led to increased visual bias, especially on the impaired side, for the severe and acute UHL listeners, suggesting that vision plays a compensatory role in restoring perceptual spatial symmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019

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Keywords

  • binaural
  • learning
  • multisensory
  • sound localization
  • unilateral hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing

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