Commentary on “Effects of Low Pass Filtering on Ear Asymmetry in Dichotic Listening and Some Uncontrolled Error Sources” (Spreen and Boucher, 1970)

[gview file=””] Figure 1 (enhanced) copyComment:

Though some aspects of this article we may not agree with— there is an interesting finding that may need reiterated in the current research world. Progressive filtering of the high frequency energy of dichotically presented words appears to compromise the right ear advantage (REA). The REA has been well recognized for many years. This filtering obviously would most influence consonants which contain more high frequency energy than vowels. Also many years ago it was demonstrated that vowels presented dichotically did not yield as strong a right ear advantage as consonants (Bryden, 1988 and others). So it seems that consonants may drive most of the right ear advantage. However, it would be of interest to know; is it the consonants and their inherent high frequency energy that is key here or could it be the spectral energy alone that might make the difference? —Another consideration– vowels are less distinct than consonants; hence are vowels too similar acoustically to draw out a difference necessary for a REA – hence is it distinctness or frequency that is the key driver here ?


Frank Musiek , Jeff Weihing

  • Bryden, M. An overview of the dichotic listening procedure and its relation to cerebral organization, K. Hugdahl (Ed.), Handbook of dichotic listening: Theory, methods and research, Wiley, Chichester, UK (1988), pp. 1–44






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Pathways is both a column that covers topics related to CAPD and Neuroaudiology and a society for people interested in central auditory disorders that regularly meets to discuss these issues.

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