Free‐field to eardrum transfer functions were measured in anesthetized cats inside an anechoic chamber. Direction‐dependent transformations were determined by measurement of sound‐pressure levels using a small probe tube microphone surgically implanted in a ventral position near the tympanic membrane. Loudspeaker and probe microphone characteristics were eliminated by subtraction of the signal recorded in the free field with no animal present. Complexities of the transfer function, which include the presence of prominent spectral notches in the 8‐ to 18‐kHz frequency region, are due primarily to the acoustical properties of the pinna. Differential amplification of frequency components within the broadband stimulus occurs as a function of source direction. Spectral features vary systematically with changes in both elevation (EL) and azimuth (AZ). The contrast between a notch and its shoulders is enhanced in the interaural spectral records. Spectral data from single source locations and spatial data for single frequencies at many locations are presented and comparisons with other species are drawn. It is suggested that spectral features in the 8‐ to 18‐kHz region provide some of the necessary spectral information for sound localization and that the contrast in spectral energy between the frequencies at the notch and its shoulders is a potential directional cue.

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