Psychophysics and neuronal bases of sound localization in humans

Jyrki Ahveninen*, Norbert Kopčo, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    Localization of sound sources is a considerable computational challenge for the human brain. Whereas the visual system can process basic spatial information in parallel, the auditory system lacks a straightforward correspondence between external spatial locations and sensory receptive fields. Consequently, the question how different acoustic features supporting spatial hearing are represented in the central nervous system is still open. Functional neuroimaging studies in humans have provided evidence for a posterior auditory "where" pathway that encompasses non-primary auditory cortex areas, including the planum temporale (PT) and posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG), which are strongly activated by horizontal sound direction changes, distance changes, and movement. However, these areas are also activated by a wide variety of other stimulus features, posing a challenge for the interpretation that the underlying areas are purely spatial. This review discusses behavioral and neuroimaging studies on sound localization, and some of the competing models of representation of auditory space in humans.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled <Human Auditory Neuroimaging>.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)86-97
    Number of pages12
    JournalHearing Research
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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