Investigation effects of auditory training under realistic acoustics in virtual reality
Master Thesis of Ray, Alokeparna
A person’s ability to comprehend speech is vital for communication in social, educational, professional and cultural contexts. However, in most surroundings speech is masked by noises, which can distract listeners in comprehending speeches from the target speaker. In binaural hearing in adverse acoustics, spatial cues from the sound sources are important for speech recognition, by providing resources for listeners to distinguish target talker from distracting babble noises. The aim of this thesis is to develop a paradigm using realistic acoustic virtual reality to train individuals in using spatial cues under adverse acoustics. The training is conducted in a real-time virtual acoustic environment emulating a typical classroom learning scenario with a spatial release from masking task, in which spatial cues will be provided for speech recognition. Participants are trained in either anechoic or reverberant condition. To examine the training effect, assessment on speech reception thresholds are administered both before and after training.