Short-term effects of sound localization training in virtual reality

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Title: Short-term effects of sound localization training in virtual reality
Authors: Steadman, M
Kim, C
Lestang, J-H
Goodman, D
Picinali, L
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) capture the direction-dependant way that sound interacts with the head and torso.In virtual audio systems, which aim to emulate these effects, non-individualized, generic HRTFs are typically used leadingto an inaccurate perception of virtual sound location. Training has the potential to exploit the brain’s ability to adapt to theseunfamiliar cues. In this study, three virtual sound localization training paradigms were evaluated; one provided simple visualpositional confirmation of sound source location, a second introduced game design elements ("gamification") and a final versionadditionally utilized head-tracking to provide listeners with experience of relative sound source motion ("active listening"). Theresults demonstrate a significant effect of training after a small number of short (12-minute) training sessions, which is retainedacross multiple days. Gamification alone had no significant effect on the efficacy of the training, but active listening resulted ina significantly greater improvements in localization accuracy. In general, improvements in virtual sound localization followingtraining generalized to a second set of non-individualized HRTFs, although some HRTF-specific changes were observed inpolar angle judgement for the active listening group. The implications of this on the putative mechanisms of the adaptationprocess are discussed.
Date of Acceptance: 18-Nov-2019
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication. Once published it will be available fully open access.
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Commission of the European Communities
Funder's Grant Number: 644051
Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology
0299 Other Physical Sciences
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Dyson School of Design Engineering

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