Localization-in-noise and binaural medial olivocochlear functioning in children and young adults

Sriram Boothalingam*, Ewan Macpherson, Chris Allan, Prudence Allen, David Purcell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Children as young as 5 yr old localize sounds as accurately as adults in quiet in the frontal hemifield. However, children's ability to localize in noise and in the front/back (F/B) dimension are scantily studied. To address this, the first part of this study investigated localization-in-noise ability of children vs young adults in two maskers: broadband noise (BBN) and speech-babble (SB) at three signal-to-noise ratios: -12, -6, and 0 dB. In the second part, relationship between binaural medial olivocochlear system (MOC) function and localization-in-noise was investigated. In both studies, 21 children and 21 young adults participated. Results indicate, while children are able to differentiate sounds arriving in the F/B dimension on par with adults in quiet and in BBN, larger differences were found for SB. Accuracy of children's localization in noise (for both maskers) in the lateral plane was also poorer than adults'. Significant differences in binaural MOC interaction (mBIC; the difference between the sum of two monaural- and binaural-MOC strength) between adults and children were also found. For reasons which are not clear, adult F/B localization in BBN correlates better with mBIC while children's F/B localization in SB correlated better with binaural MOC strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 139, 247-262 (2016) and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4939708.


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