The Efficacy of Virtual Spatialized Audio for Perceiving and Remembering Azimuths of Auditory Targets
Kate M. Cuddy. Unpublished Master’s Thesis Project, May 2010, UMaine. (N.A. Giudice: thesis advisor)
The efficiency of virtual spatialized audio has been studied for route guidance, but its utility for presenting information that is integral to spatial learning is still unclear. In these two studies, we evaluate the efficacy of virtual spatialized sound for use with auditory displays by comparing the ability of participants to perform basic spatial tasks when auditory targets were presented through headphones (virtual audio) versus speakers (external audio). Our findings show more accurate orientation toward auditory targets, and equivalent recall of auditory target azimuths, using virtual audio as compared to external audio. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that virtual audio is efficient for providing information that assists in the representation and recall of object locations. These results have important implications for the development of auditory displays for navigation systems.