Factors affecting auditory estimates of virtual room size: Effects of stimulus, level, and reverberation

Kolarik, Andrew and Moore, Brian C. J. and Cirstea, Silvia and Aggius-Vella, Elena and Gori, Monica and Campus, Claudio and Pardhan, Shahina (2021) Factors affecting auditory estimates of virtual room size: Effects of stimulus, level, and reverberation. Perception. ISSN 1468-4233

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/03010066211020598

Abstract

When vision is unavailable, auditory level and reverberation cues provide important spatial information regarding the environment, such as the size of a room. We investigated how room size estimates were affected by stimulus type, level and reverberation. In Experiment 1, fifteen blindfolded participants estimated room size after performing a distance bisection task in virtual rooms that were either anechoic (with level cues only) or reverberant (with level and reverberation cues) with a relatively short reverberation time of T60 = 400 ms. Speech, noise, or clicks were presented at distances between 1.9 and 7.1 m. The reverberant room was judged to be significantly larger than the anechoic room (p<0.05) for all stimuli. In Experiment 2 only the reverberant room was used and the overall level of all sounds was equalized, so only reverberation cues were available. Ten blindfolded participants took part. Room size estimates were significantly larger for speech than for clicks or noise. The results show that when level and reverberation cues are present, reverberation increases judged room size. Even relatively weak reverberation cues provide room size information, which could potentially be used by blind or visually impaired individuals encountering novel rooms.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: spatial hearing, auditory distance, sound localization, depth, room size, reverberation
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 10:22
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 11:25
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706588

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