Measuring “Where”: A Comparative Analysis of Methods Measuring Spatial Perception

Leah Fostick, Nir Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature offers various methods for measuring sound localization. In this study, we aimed to compare these methods to determine their effectiveness in addressing different research questions by examining the effect sizes obtained from each measure. Data from 150 participants who identified the location of a sound source were analyzed to explore the effects of speaker angle, stimuli, HPD type, and condition (with/without HPD) on sound localization, using six methods for analysis: mean absolute deviation (MAD), root-mean-squared error (RMSE), very large errors (VLE), percentage of errors larger than the average error observed in a group of participants (pMean), percentage of errors larger than half the distance between two consecutive loudspeakers (pHalf), and mirror image reversal errors (MIRE). Results indicated that the MIRE measure was the most sensitive to the effects of speaker angle and HPD type, while the VLE measure was most sensitive to the effect of stimuli type. The condition variable provided the largest effect sizes, with no difference observed between measures. The data suggest that when effect sizes are substantial, all methods are adequate. However, for cases where the effect size is expected to be small, methods that yield larger effect sizes should be considered, considering their alignment with the research question.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9434
Issue number23
StatePublished - 27 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • mean absolute deviation (MAD)
  • measuring methods
  • mirror image reversal errors (MIRE)
  • root-mean-squared error (RMSE)
  • sound localization


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