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Shinn-Cunningham, B. G., Lin, I.-F., & Streeter, T. 2005, July 22—27 Trading directional accuracy for realism in virtual auditory display. Paper presented at 1st. International Conference on Virtual Reality. 
Resource type: Proceedings Article
BibTeX citation key: ShinnCunningham2005
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Categories: General
Keywords: Acoustics
Creators: Lin, Shinn-Cunningham, Streeter
Publisher: Human-Computer Interaction International
Collection: 1st. International Conference on Virtual Reality
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Abstract
"In a virtual auditory display, reverberant energy is important for cuing source distance and creating sounds that are externalized (perceived as coming from outside the listener's head). The benefits of adding reverberation to a virtual auditory display are seen even for small levels of reverberant energy, like that in an ordinary, small room. While previous studies have shown that large amounts of reverberant energy can disrupt speech intelligibility and degrade localization accuracy, systematic deficits have not been observed in most studies conducted in or simulating typical small rooms, like classrooms. Moreover, while past studies have measured either distance or directional perception in virtual auditory displays, little is known about how these two dimensions interact when both vary. The dual goals of the current study were to see whether 1) increasing the task demands by having subjects simultaneously judge both distance and direction (compared to judging either distance or direction) interfered with their ability to judge each dimension, and 2) the value of one stimulus dimension affected how well listeners could judge the other dimension. Results show that mean judgments of distance and direction are independent of task demands. However, localization judgments are more variable if subjects must simultaneously judge distance and direction compared to when they are only asked to judge only one dimension. This dual-task cost is larger for distance judgments than for directional judgments. Mean perceived distance is independent of source direction; however, directional accuracy for lateral sources depends on the source distance: judgments of source laterality become increasingly more biased towards midline as source distance increases. These results show that directional abilities degrade with the inclusion of even modest amounts of reverberation (which are needed to encode source distance) and highlight the importance of understanding the goals of a particular application when designing a spatial auditory display. When creating a virtual auditory display, directional accuracy trades off directly with distance accuracy and realism."
  
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