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Human echolocation : Acoustic gaze for burst trains and continuous noise

Schenkman, Bo N.; Nilsson, Mats E. and Grbic, Nedelko LU (2016) In Applied Acoustics 106. p.77-86
Abstract

This study explored the ability of blind and sighted listeners to detect reflections, "echoes", of burst trains or continuous noise. Echo detection was compared by presenting 5 ms bursts, rates from 1 to 64 bursts, with a continuous white noise, all during 500 ms. Sounds were recorded in an ordinary room through an artificial binaural head, the loudspeaker 1 m behind it. The reflecting object was an aluminum disk, diameter 0.5 m, placed at 1 m. The sounds were presented to 12 blind and 26 sighted participants in a laboratory using a 2-Alternative-Forced-Choice methodology. The task was to detect which of two sounds contained an echo. In Experiment 2, 1.5 m distance sounds were presented to the blind only. At 1 m, detection for the blind... (More)

This study explored the ability of blind and sighted listeners to detect reflections, "echoes", of burst trains or continuous noise. Echo detection was compared by presenting 5 ms bursts, rates from 1 to 64 bursts, with a continuous white noise, all during 500 ms. Sounds were recorded in an ordinary room through an artificial binaural head, the loudspeaker 1 m behind it. The reflecting object was an aluminum disk, diameter 0.5 m, placed at 1 m. The sounds were presented to 12 blind and 26 sighted participants in a laboratory using a 2-Alternative-Forced-Choice methodology. The task was to detect which of two sounds contained an echo. In Experiment 2, 1.5 m distance sounds were presented to the blind only. At 1 m, detection for the blind increased up to 64 bursts/500 ms, but for the sighted up to 32 bursts. At 1.5 m, the peak performance for the blind was at 32 bursts. At the 1 m, but not at the 1.5 m distance, the blind performed best with continuous white noise. The overlap in time of signal and echo at 1 m for 64 bursts was 60%, but at 1.5 m 82%. Avoiding an overlap between emitted bursts and returning echoes seems important for echolocation, indicating that an acoustic gaze, analogous to in echolocating animals, may also exist in humans.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Blind, Bursts, Echolocation, Noise, Orientation
in
Applied Acoustics
volume
106
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84954192878
  • WOS:000371193500009
ISSN
0003-682X
DOI
10.1016/j.apacoust.2015.12.008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
962c871e-7201-425b-971e-e1b80a4ce7eb
date added to LUP
2016-05-10 10:54:44
date last changed
2016-10-30 04:47:25
@misc{962c871e-7201-425b-971e-e1b80a4ce7eb,
  abstract     = {<p>This study explored the ability of blind and sighted listeners to detect reflections, "echoes", of burst trains or continuous noise. Echo detection was compared by presenting 5 ms bursts, rates from 1 to 64 bursts, with a continuous white noise, all during 500 ms. Sounds were recorded in an ordinary room through an artificial binaural head, the loudspeaker 1 m behind it. The reflecting object was an aluminum disk, diameter 0.5 m, placed at 1 m. The sounds were presented to 12 blind and 26 sighted participants in a laboratory using a 2-Alternative-Forced-Choice methodology. The task was to detect which of two sounds contained an echo. In Experiment 2, 1.5 m distance sounds were presented to the blind only. At 1 m, detection for the blind increased up to 64 bursts/500 ms, but for the sighted up to 32 bursts. At 1.5 m, the peak performance for the blind was at 32 bursts. At the 1 m, but not at the 1.5 m distance, the blind performed best with continuous white noise. The overlap in time of signal and echo at 1 m for 64 bursts was 60%, but at 1.5 m 82%. Avoiding an overlap between emitted bursts and returning echoes seems important for echolocation, indicating that an acoustic gaze, analogous to in echolocating animals, may also exist in humans.</p>},
  author       = {Schenkman, Bo N. and Nilsson, Mats E. and Grbic, Nedelko},
  issn         = {0003-682X},
  keyword      = {Blind,Bursts,Echolocation,Noise,Orientation},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {77--86},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xab75a30)},
  series       = {Applied Acoustics},
  title        = {Human echolocation : Acoustic gaze for burst trains and continuous noise},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apacoust.2015.12.008},
  volume       = {106},
  year         = {2016},
}