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One's Own Voice in Auditory Virtual Environments

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The sound of our own voices contributes significantly to our perception of real and virtual environments and has strong implications on the way we speak. It allows our speech to be controlled, which is of particular relevance in acoustically "difficult" situations, for example when speaking in a noisy environment. As early as 1911 Lombard recognised that people speak louder when they are not able to hear their own voices [1]. Since then, several investigations on the influence of a changed perception on the way we speak have been performed. However, up to now it has remained unclear how the perception of one's own voice affects the perception of a complete auditory scene.

Starting with a model of the different pathways relevant to the perception of one's own voice, this article describes the model's implementation in an auditory virtual environment generator. An auditory validation experiment was performed which showed that the naturalness of one's own voice is increased by a plausible presentation and that the system can be used as a tool for psychoacoustic research on the perception of one's own voice. In the second described experiment the implications of a plausible presentation of one's own voice on the sense of presence in virtual environments were studied. To set up realistic communication scenarios the virtual environment generator was enhanced to a multi-user system so that it could for this purpose be used as an auditory teleconferencing system for two or more participants. Applying this system communication experiments were performed and the perceived presence was measured. This article concludes by identifying possible commercial applications for which a plausible presentation of one's voice could be of relevance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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