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Ecological Validity of Soundscape Reproduction

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We introduce a methodology based on linguistic exploration of verbal data to investigate the influence of reproduction method on cognitive processing of environmental sounds in laboratory conditions. Three experiments were carried out to explore the ecological validity of reproduction systems. The reference study consisted of interviews conducted in actual environments, which were also recorded simultaneously. The recordings were used for two listening tests, the first one using stereophonic reproduction and the second one using multichannel reproduction. The comparison of the verbal data collected in the different contexts sketches some theoretical and methodological issues concerning the reproduction of everyday life scenes in laboratory conditions. The linguistic analyses indicate that the "same" acoustic phenomenon gives rise to different cognitive representations, depending on the spatial presentation of the stimuli. It follows that the quality of the reproduction system must be adapted to specific properties of mental representations (here, spatial immersion vs. source identification). On methodological grounds, the analysis of spontaneous language representations gives access to cognitive representations elaborated in real life situations and in experimental conditions. The comparison of the linguistic exploration can then be used as a psycholinguistic measure of the ecological validity of experimental settings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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  • 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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