Auditory Cognition in Interactive Virtual Environments - AUDICTIVE
AUDICTIVE aims at research where VR technology is used to investigate basic theories of auditory perception and cognition in more complex scenes, reflecting real-life environments (a). In turn, AUDICTIVE shall foster research that investigates the extent to which VR systems enable required sensory information and/or control for all potentially relevant aspects of auditory perception and cognition to be provided (b). For example, one specific challenge in AUDICTIVE will be to investigate aspects of acoustic and multimodal cues presented to the listeners that are important for eliciting a truly externalized compelling auralization and to explore their interaction with human cognition for specific tasks. As the focus is on the role of acoustics in human cognition i.e., "auditory cognition", all projects in AUDICTIVE will need to include research on specific aspects of acoustic scene generation. Here, "ready to use" and at the same time fully evaluated implementations are not yet available. AUDICTIVE will help bridge the gap between auditory perception and cognition on the one hand (a) and virtual reality on the other hand (b). The priority program intends to join independent scientific communities to gain additional knowledge from auditory perception and cognition research conducted in more realistic environments. To achieve this aim, AUDICTIVE will foster cutting-edge research by supporting tandem projects that include researchers from the field of acoustics on the one hand and any combination of cognitive psychology or interactive virtual environments on the other hand with the goal to make progress in context-related hearing research and VR. This cross-disciplinary research has now become possible in a new quality and originality due to recent technical developments and resulting experimental opportunities. Interactive auditory VR is now available and applicable even for non-specialized laboratories in which humans can interact with the auditory scene, so that the listener's ears can immediately adapt to the auditory input through, e.g., rotations of the head or spatial movements of the human and of acoustic signal sources. Accordingly, advanced contextual hearing research is now feasible for a broader and more comprehensive research community in terms of disciplines, topics and research questions. Acoustics, cognitive psychology, and computer sciences can now collaborate on a specialized VR research to achieve synergistic effects that have not been attainable before. An open science approach will be fostered, developing a comprehensive database of results. All projects will have to include a quality evaluation with regard to the obtained results (c), in terms of "auditory-cognition research validation" (a) and/or "auditory-cognition-centric VR evaluation" (b). The respective methods and data will be integrated into an evaluation-method framework across all projects.