Where Did That Sound Come From? Comparing the Ability to Localise Using Audification and AuditionBy Davies, T. Claire; Pinder, Shane D.; Dodd, George; Burns, Catherine M.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 7, Number 2, pages 130-138
Publication Date: February 2012
Study determined how effectively individuals with no training in localization would be able to locate sound sources with audified ultrasound as compared to sound in the auditory range, or audition. Audification is defined as the direct translation of ultrasound into auditory sound. A prototype device, Audification of Ultrasound for Detection of Environmental Obstacles (AUDEO), was developed that enables audification of ultrasound Doppler signals at normal walking speeds using user-centered design methods. The device allows individuals with visual impairment to detect and avoid obstacles within the environment. In an anechoic environment, 15 blindfolded participants with normal hearing and vision localized point-sound sources for three conditions: auditory, audified ultrasound using the AUDEO system with receivers facing laterally, and audified ultrasound using the AUDEO system with receivers facing forward. Azimuth localization was similar within a range of -35 to 35 degrees in front of the participant among all conditions. At the periphery, -70 and 70 degrees, audified ultrasound was more accurate than audition for novice participants. No difference was evident in user elevation accuracy for these signals among the different conditions. In summary, localization of peripheral sounds was shown to be better with audified ultrasound than audition.
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International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )