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Whole-body vibration influences on sound localization in the median plane

Tajadura-Jiménez, A; Väljamäe, A; Kitagawa, N; Ho, H-N; (2010) Whole-body vibration influences on sound localization in the median plane. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering , 224 (10) 1311 - 1320. 10.1243/09544070JAUTO1600.

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The present study investigates human multisensory perception of sound and vibration, highlighting its potential impact in the design of novel user interfaces, including those used in the automobile industry. Specifically, the present study investigates whether front-back sound localization could be altered by concurrent whole-body vibration. Previous research has shown that, when auditory and tactile stimuli are presented synchronously but from different positions, the perceived location of the auditory event is mislocalized to the location of the tactile stimulus. Here, sounds were presented at the front or the back of participants, in isolation, or together with vibrations. Participants made a three-alternative forced choice regarding their perceived location of the sounds. Results indicate that front-back sound localization was affected by the presence of concurrent vibrations, which biased the localization of front sounds towards the participants' rear space. Since the perceived location of events modulates the perceivers' understanding and involvement in these events, the possibility of manipulating the location of sound events using vibrations has a potential for the design of multisensory interfaces such as those included in automotive applications, where it is strongly needed to capture the attention of drivers, to provide navigational information, and to reduce sensory load.

Type: Article
Title: Whole-body vibration influences on sound localization in the median plane
DOI: 10.1243/09544070JAUTO1600
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1377765
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