Review of the Literature on Sound-Source Localization and Applications to Noisy Workplaces
AbstractIn noisy workplaces, workers have to detect and localize significant sound sources. If they fail in these auditory tasks, serious accidents can occur. The present paper deals with a review of the different aspects of localization in free field and in closed spaces. Different factors such as hearing loss, hearing protectors and hearing aids have been statistically proven to worsen the ability to localize sounds in both horizontal and vertical planes. In order to emphasize the need for research in understanding the complex mechanisms involved in real life sound localization, a simulated case is presented. Arguments are given for the necessity in developing clinically relevant tests that will enable audiologists to quantify an individual's ability to localize sounds in different situations. It is important that the rationale for these tests be to improve safety in noisy workplaces and not to discriminate among job candidates.
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