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Localization of a Virtual Wall by Means of Active Echolocation by Untrained Sighted Persons

Pelegrın-Garcıa, D, De Sena, Enzo, van Waterschoot, T, Rychtarikova, M and Glorieux, C (2018) Localization of a Virtual Wall by Means of Active Echolocation by Untrained Sighted Persons Applied Acoustics, 139. pp. 82-92.

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The active sensing and perception of the environment by auditory means is typically known as echolocation and it can be acquired by humans, who can profit from it in the absence of vision. We investigated the ability of twentyone untrained sighted participants to use echolocation with self-generated oral clicks for aligning themselves within the horizontal plane towards a virtual wall, emulated with an acoustic virtual reality system, at distances between 1 and 32 m, in the absence of background noise and reverberation. Participants were able to detect the virtual wall on 61% of the trials, although with large di↵erences across individuals and distances. The use of louder and shorter clicks led to an increased performance, whereas the use of clicks with lower frequency content allowed for the use of interaural time di↵erences to improve the accuracy of reflection localization at very long distances. The distance of 2 m was the most difficult to detect and localize, whereas the furthest distances of 16 and 32 m were the easiest ones. Thus, echolocation may be used e↵ectively to identify large distant environmental landmarks such as buildings.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Authors :
Pelegrın-Garcıa, D
De Sena,
van Waterschoot, T
Rychtarikova, M
Glorieux, C
Date : 24 April 2018
DOI : 10.1016/j.apacoust.2018.04.018
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : human echolocation, virtual acoustics, masking, sound localization
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 13 Apr 2018 16:01
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2019 02:08

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