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Human auditory localisation in adistorted environment: water

Sophie Savel 1 Carolyn Drake 2 Guy Rabau
1 Sons
LMA - Laboratoire de Mécanique et d'Acoustique [Marseille] : UPR7051
Abstract : This study is concerned with sound localisation abilities in water, where the cues for localisation are theoretically severely altered. The main goal of the study was to understand the discrepancy between the poor localisation abilities predicted by the degree of cues alteration and the relatively good performance empirically measured in past investigations. Nine experienced divers performed 8-alternative forced-choice identification tests in open water, with auditory targets presented both in the frontal and rear parts of the horizontal plane. Targets were trains of 300-ms bursts with 25-ms rise/decay times. Bursts were either pure tones (0.4, 1, 6 or 8 kHz) or white noise. With 0.4-kHz tones, the subjects exhibited very accurate left-right distinction and acceptable azimuth resolution. Four subjects made frequent front-back reversals. Also, a bias of the responses towards the median axis was observed in 24% of the data. Six subjects tested with head motion either restricted or free all showed a clear drop of front-back reversals due to head motion. Three subjects tested with all target frequencies exhibited correct localisation accuracy with the white noise, again associated with frequent front-back reversals for two of them. With the 1-, 6- and 8-kHz tones, however, results varied more between individuals. The same three subjects were tested with both the head-conduction and the ear-conduction pathways available, with the head-conduction path blocked off by the wear of a neoprene hood, and with the ear-conduction path blocked off by the wear of neoprene earplugs, in random order. They showed a strong degradation due to the covering of the ear-conduction pathway.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 26, 2010 - 8:22:17 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 27, 2020 - 2:26:30 AM



Sophie Savel, Carolyn Drake, Guy Rabau. Human auditory localisation in adistorted environment: water. Acta Acustica united with Acustica, Hirzel Verlag, 2009, 95 (1), pp.128-141. ⟨10.3813/AAA.918134⟩. ⟨hal-00460005⟩



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