The Computation of Sound Source Elevation in the Barn Owl

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 2 (NIPS 1989)

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Clay D. Spence, John Pearson


The midbrain of the barn owl contains a map-like representation of sound source direction which is used to precisely orient the head to(cid:173) ward targets of interest. Elevation is computed from the interaural difference in sound level. We present models and computer simula(cid:173) tions of two stages of level difference processing which qualitatively agree with known anatomy and physiology, and make several strik(cid:173) ing predictions.