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Auditory Facing Angle Perception: The Effect of Different Source Positions in a Real and an Anechoic Environment

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In social interaction it is vitally important to be able to perceive the gaze direction or the head orientation of the people talking around us. As long as our dialogue partner is within our field of vision, visual cues are normally responsible for the head orientation estimation, here termed facing angle. The facing angle describes the angle of orientation for a directional source relative to the receiver position. The aim of this study was to measure the ability of participants to estimate the facing angle of a directional sound source based on acoustic cues for facing angles in 25° steps at three source positions (frontal, lateral, rear left) in an anechoic and reverberant environment. The listeners performed generally poorly for a lateral or rear left sound source compared to a frontal sound source. They showed the best performance when the sound source pointed directly to the listener for all tested source positions. However, listeners perceived small facing angles as direct-facing. The facing angle estimation was more difficult in the anechoic room for facing angles where the loudspeaker was turned away from the listener. For a lateral sound source, the listeners were partly unable to distinguish between positive and negative facing angles.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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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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