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Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems

Department

Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Steve Hall, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christina Frederick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Timothy Wilson, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance effects of adding an additional sound cue characteristic to a 3-D auditory display sound stimulus to increase localization accuracy. Previous literature has provided evidence that localization accuracy for direct front and direct back regions is significantly worse than that of locations in the periphery for virtual 3-D auditory stimuli. In the study conducted, a highpass filter addition or a lowpass filter addition was compared to a "normal" condition for both the front and back locations. Results of the study showed that the best localization performance for the front location occurred with the "normal" sound stimulus, and the best localization for the back occurred with the lowpass filter addition. The increased localization accuracy for lowpass sound stimuli representing the back followed the hypothesis of the experimenter as well as the theory of how humans best localize sound. However, the hypothesis for the front location was not supported, nor followed the theory of how humans best localize sound (higher frequencies from the front). A possible explanation for these results was that there may be an optimal frequency range for localizing front sound stimuli, or the presence of an asymmetrical filtering distribution affected the high-pass and low-pass characteristics.

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