Active adaptation to room reflection patterns
* Presenting author
Research has shown that repeated exposure to a specific reflection pattern can lower the echo threshold and improve speech comprehension in noise, indicating the ability of the human auditory system to suppress reverberant energy in favor of the direct sound. In this study, normal-hearing listeners were asked to localize a sound source in a virtual room, presented via the loudspeakers of the Simulated Open Field Environment in an anechoic chamber. A directivity pattern was applied to the simulated source, resulting in scenarios where some reflections could be equal or higher in level than the direct sound. Three conditions were examined: “no room context,” where the task was completed with no prior exposure to the room’s acoustics; “active room exploration,” where listeners could move themselves and a sound source around the virtual room used in the localization task before completing it; and “passive room exploration,” where listeners were first played a recording of the same audio signals that they generated in the “active room exploration” condition before completing the localization task.The results of this study are meant to shed light on higher-level processes that can aid in room learning beyond passive adaptation to one particular reflection pattern.