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Re: mappings

Dear Bruce:

When people are asked to judge the vertical position of invisible sound
sources, the higher pitched the source, the higher they judge its origin
to be.  We used this phenomenon in a study of the effects of grouping on
localization some years ago.  The sounds were actually presented over
acoustically transparent headphones, and the listeners were fooled into
thinking they came from "out there".

Bregman A.S., & Steiger, H. (1980) Auditory streaming and vertical
localization: Interdependence of "what" and "where" decisions in audition.
Perception and Psychophysics, 28, 539-546.

The phenomenon has been known for some time.  The article gives some of
the references.  The effect may be due to the effects of higher and lower
tones on the mechanisms for vertical localization.  So the high/low
metaphor may have a physiological basis.



Albert S. Bregman,  Professor,  Dept of Psychology,  McGill University
1205  Docteur Penfield Avenue,   Montreal,  Quebec,  Canada   H3A 1B1.
Phone: +1 514-398-6103  Fax: -4896 Email: bregman@hebb.psych.mcgill.ca
Lab Web Page: http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/labs/auditory/laboratory.html