The current popular and scientific interest in virtual environments has provided a new impetus for investigating binaural and spatial hearing. However, the many intriguing phenomena of spatial hearing have long made it an exciting area of scientific inquiry. Psychophysical and physiological investigations of spatial hearing seem to be converging on common explanations of underlying mechanisms. These understandings have in turn been incorporated into sophisticated yet mathematically tractable models of binaural interaction. Thus, binaural and spatial hearing is one of the few areas in which professionals are soon likely to find adequate physiological explanations of complex psychological phenomena that can be reasonably and usefully approximated by mathematical and physical models.
This volume grew out of the Conference on Binaural and Spatial Hearing, a four-day event held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in response to rapid developments in binaural and spatial hearing research and technology. Meant to be more than just a proceedings, it presents chapters that are longer than typical proceedings papers and contain considerably more review material, including extensive bibliographies in many cases.
Arranged into topical sections, the chapters represent major thrusts in the recent literature. The authors of the first chapter in each section have been encouraged to take a broad perspective and review the current state of literature. Subsequent chapters in each section tend to be somewhat more narrowly focused, and often emphasize the authors' own work. Thus, each section provides overview, background, and current research on a particular topic. This book is significant in that it reviews the important work during the past 10 to 15 years, and provides greater breadth and depth than most of the previous works.