Audio-Visual Perception in Interactive Virtual Environments

Karl Grosse
Audio-Visual Perception in Interactive Virtual Environments
[image] [paper]

Information

Abstract

Interactive virtual environments (VEs) are gaining more and more fidelity. Their high quality stimuli undoubtedly increase the feeling of presence and immersion as “being in the world”, but maybe they also affect user’s performance on specific tasks. Vision and spatial hearing are the main contributors of our perception. Sight dominates clearly and has been in the focus of research for a long time, but maybe it is the audiovisual combination which facilitates the user in his decision making and in completing a task. Mere identification of the task is not enough. Of course one could find dozens of problems where spatial sound reproduction has a practical relevance. More interesting are those which reside on a high cognitive level. Tasks that combine visual stimuli and auditive perception with movement provide a wide field of activity like for example crossing a busy road, an every day task that contains a high information density and demands fast processing by the brain. But how does hearing have an impact on this? Does spatial audio lead to better performance? Can one adjust naturalistic, spatialized hearing virtually? This diploma thesis asseses the effect of spatial sound reproduction compared to conventional stereo sound or no sound at all. Within the scope of the practical part, a simulator was implemented to produce a virtual street crossing experiment. It was later used to perform a study with volunteer participants. The results give evidence that there is a statistically significant difference between spatialized sound rendering compared to stereo sound or no sound. In the future this can not be used solely to boost the naturalistic fidelity and authenticity of a virtual environment but also as a user supportive measure.

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BibTeX

@mastersthesis{grosse-2009-avp,
  title =      "Audio-Visual Perception in Interactive Virtual Environments",
  author =     "Karl Grosse",
  year =       "2009",
  abstract =   "Interactive virtual environments (VEs) are gaining more and
               more fidelity. Their high quality stimuli undoubtedly
               increase the feeling of presence and immersion as “being
               in the world”, but maybe they also affect user’s
               performance on specific tasks. Vision and spatial hearing
               are the main contributors of our perception. Sight dominates
               clearly and has been in the focus of research for a long
               time, but maybe it is the audiovisual combination which
               facilitates the user in his decision making and in
               completing a task. Mere identification of the task is not
               enough. Of course one could find dozens of problems where
               spatial sound reproduction has a practical relevance. More
               interesting are those which reside on a high cognitive
               level. Tasks that combine visual stimuli and auditive
               perception with movement provide a wide field of activity
               like for example crossing a busy road, an every day task
               that contains a high information density and demands fast
               processing by the brain. But how does hearing have an impact
               on this? Does spatial audio lead to better performance? Can
               one adjust naturalistic, spatialized hearing virtually? This
               diploma thesis asseses the effect of spatial sound
               reproduction compared to conventional stereo sound or no
               sound at all. Within the scope of the practical part, a
               simulator was implemented to produce a virtual street
               crossing experiment. It was later used to perform a study
               with volunteer participants. The results give evidence that
               there is a statistically significant difference between
               spatialized sound rendering compared to stereo sound or no
               sound. In the future this can not be used solely to boost
               the naturalistic fidelity and authenticity of a virtual
               environment but also as a user supportive measure.",
  month =      dec,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/186, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna
               University of Technology",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2009/grosse-2009-avp/",
}