Binaural hearing refers to the fact that humans and other animals use information arriving at the two ears to perceive sounds. Binaural hearing helps localize sounds in the horizontal plane (left–right dimension) and understand speech in noisy environments. A hallmark of binaural hearing is the interaction between the head and sounds that arrive at the ears from different locations in space. This entry discusses the acoustic cues that give rise to binaural hearing, anatomical pathways involved in processing these cues, and perceptual phenomena experienced by humans and other animal species.

Binaural cues arise from the fact that sounds occurring at each angle relative to the head produce different binaural cues. Sources from directly in front reach the two ears with zero difference in timing and with ...

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