Auditory Scene Analysis



  Loudspeakersetup in an anechoic chamber Copyright: ITA

"I can hardly understand you! It is too loud here" - a typical statement by a person in a busy restaurant, during an event or in many other everyday situations. The required ability here to auditorily differentiate a signal source from various useful and interfering signals has its roots in binaural hearing (hearing with both ears). Basic experimenting regarding binaural hearing has however so far only been carried out in laboratories and with very simple means.

In this research area we examine for example how room acoustics affects auditory attention. With the aid of computer-generated acoustic scenarios we investigate the effect of sound reflections on perception.

Applying hearing tests we explore the processing mechanisms of persons with normal hearing and those with impaired hearing (children, adults, people with age-related hearing loss, people using hearing aids, Cochlea Implants).

Auditory perception of sound reflections and localization of dynamic scenarios

To orientate himself in complex surroundings a human being beside his sense of vision also needs acoustic information. For an acoustic orientation in his surroundings a person uses the early reflections of confining areas (walls, ceilings, floors, large objects) and their relation to the sound source.

Using hearing tests we research the auditory perception of complex acoustic scenarios of test persons with normal hearing, impaired hearing and blind persons. These scenarios can be free field conditions, large rooms or outdoor scenarios (e.g. orientation in the city).

Experiments to test attention in dynamic acoustically complex scenarios

With the aid of Acoustic Virtual Reality and Binaural Technology we focus on researching in virtual acoustic scenarios the effects of individual parameters (room acoustics, sound reflection, etc.), for example on selective auditory attention.