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Auditory Adaptation to Non-Individual HRTF Cues in Binaural Audio Reproduction

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It is well known that the human perceptual system can adapt by changing its processing properties when exposed to feedback and context. The brain is not a fixed stimulus-response system. This report investigates auditory adaptation processes in spatial listening tasks for people with normal hearing ability. The auditory adaptation process to altered auditory cues of thirteen participants was monitored and compared to their normal hearing listening performance. Binaural room impulse responses were measured for each participant and for an artificial head. Listeners were trained to non-individual HRTF cues in an audiovisual training task. Ten out of thirteen listeners showed significant improvement in their ability to localize sound sources varying in elevation on the median plane after training. Two of these listeners performed better with trained artificial binaural room impulse responses than with their individual measured room impulse responses. Listening tests show that audiovisual training with artificial binaural room impulse responses decreases localization error significantly in the median plane.

JAES Volume 64 Issue 1/2 pp. 45-54; January 2016
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