A classic paradigm used to quantify the perceptual weighting of binaural spatial cues requires a listener to adjust the value of one cue, while the complementary cue is held constant. Adjustments are made until the auditory percept appears centered in the head, and the values of both cues are recorded as a trading relation (TR), most commonly in μs interaural time difference per dB interaural level difference. Interestingly, existing literature has shown that TRs differ according to the cue being adjusted. The current study investigated whether cue-specific adaptation, which might arise due to the continuous, alternating presentation of signals during adjustment tasks, could account for this poorly understood phenomenon. Three experiments measured TRs via adjustment and via lateralization of single targets in virtual reality (VR). Targets were 500 Hz pure tones preceded by silence or by adapting trains that held one of the cues constant. VR removed visual anchors and provided an intuitive response technique during lateralization. The pattern of results suggests that adaptation can account for cue-dependent TRs. In addition, VR seems to be a viable tool for psychophysical tasks.

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