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Although ears capable of detecting airborne sound have arisen repeatedly and independently in different species, most animals that are capable of hearing have a pair of ears. We review the advantages that arise from having two ears and discuss recent research on the similarities and differences in the binaural processing strategies adopted by birds and mammals. We also ask how these different adaptations for binaural and spatial hearing might inform and inspire the development of techniques for future auditory prosthetic devices.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nn.2325

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Neurosci

Publication Date

06/2009

Volume

12

Pages

692 - 697

Keywords

Animals, Auditory Pathways, Auditory Perception, Biological Evolution, Brain, Cochlear Implants, Functional Laterality, Hearing, Humans, Sound Localization, Space Perception, Vertebrates