Human echolocation: localizing reflections of self-generated oral sounds in laboratory
Lab. of Acoustics and Thermal Physics,KU Leuven
Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 09:20 - 09:40
Auditorium 2 (592)
The active sensing and perception of the environment by auditory means is typically known as echolocation. Through the emission of oral sounds and the interpretation of the reflections in relation to the direct sound, blind people can acquire spatial knowledge about their surroundings and improve their mobility in unknown spaces. While this technique is becoming more common in Orientation & Mobility training, it has not yet become a mainstream practice. This paper aims, on one hand, at presenting this modality of perception and its underlying sensory mechanisms and, on the other hand, at showing the results of a laboratory experience at the Laboratory of Acoustics at KU Leuven, in which we investigate the ability of subjects to use echolocation for aligning themselves toward virtual silent targets generated through an acoustic virtual reality system. Particular focus is given to training effects and the evolution through different sessions of detection accuracy, the required time for detection and the number and intensity of emissions produced by subjects.
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