Spatial Hearing

Spatial hearing refers to the ability of a listener to localize, separate and monitor simultaneous sounds in the environment. This allows the listener to create an “auditory scene” and focus attention on the signal of interest. While normal-hearing listeners are able to maintain awareness of a remarkable number of simultaneous environmental sounds, there is reason to believe that listeners with hearing loss may be significantly compromised in terms of their ability to maintain awareness of their auditory environment. Research efforts in this area are focused on developing laboratory and field methods to evaluate spatial hearing ability in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired individuals. Studies are also underway to evaluate the impact that hearing aids, hearing protectors and communication systems might have on a listener’s ability to detect, localize, and respond to ambient sounds in the environments.

Last Updated 11/18/2019