Sound localization and occupational noise


  • Pedro de Lemos Menezes Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas (UNCISAL); Acoustic Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Kelly Cristina Lira de Andrade Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
  • Aline Tenorio Lins Carnauba Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
  • Frantania B. Cabral Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas (UNCISAL); Acoustic Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Mariana de Carvalho Leal Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
  • Liliane Desgualdo Pereira Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP); Departamento de Fonoaudiologia



OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of occupational noise on sound localization in different spatial planes and frequencies among normal hearing firefighters. METHOD: A total of 29 adults with pure-tone hearing thresholds below 25 dB took part in the study. The participants were divided into a group of 19 firefighters exposed to occupational noise and a control group of 10 adults who were not exposed to such noise. All subjects were assigned a sound localization task involving 117 stimuli from 13 sound sources that were spatially distributed in horizontal, vertical, midsagittal and transverse planes. The three stimuli, which were square waves with fundamental frequencies of 500, 2,000 and 4,000 Hz, were presented at a sound level of 70 dB and were randomly repeated three times from each sound source. The angle between the speaker's axis in the same plane was 45°, and the distance to the subject was 1 m. RESULT: The results demonstrate that the sound localization ability of the firefighters was significantly lower (p<0.01) than that of the control group. CONCLUSION: Exposure to occupational noise, even when not resulting in hearing loss, may lead to a diminished ability to locate a sound source.


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How to Cite

Menezes, P. de L., Andrade, K. C. L. de, Carnauba, A. T. L., Cabral, F. B., Leal, M. de C., & Pereira, L. D. (2014). Sound localization and occupational noise. Clinics, 69(2), 83-86.



Clinical Sciences