Modelling the effect of individual hearing impairment on sound localisation in sagittal planes
Normal-hearing (NH) listeners use monaural spectral cues to localize sound sources in sagittal planes, including up-down and front-back directions. The salience of monaural spectral cues is determined by the spectral resolution and the dynamic range of the auditory system. Both factors are commonly degraded in impaired auditory systems. In order to simulate the effects of outer hair cell (OHC) dysfunction and loss of auditory nerve (AN) fibres on localisation performance, we incorporated a well-established model of the auditory periphery [Zilany et al., 2014, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135] into a recent model of sound localisation in sagittal planes [Baumgartner et al., 2014, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 136]. The model was evaluated for NH listeners and then applied on conditions simulating various degrees of OHC dysfunction. The predicted localisation performance is hardly affected by a moderate OHC dysfunction but drastically degrades in case of a severe OHC dysfunction. When further applied on conditions simulating loss of AN fibres with specific spontaneous rates (SRs), predicted localisation performance degrades if only high-SR fibres are preserved.
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