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Dimensions Underlying the Perceived Similarity of Acoustic Environments

Aletta, F; Axelsson, O; Kang, J; (2017) Dimensions Underlying the Perceived Similarity of Acoustic Environments. Frontiers in Psychology , 8 (1162) 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01162. Green open access

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Abstract

Scientific research on how people perceive or experience and/or understand the acoustic environment as a whole (i.e., soundscape) is still in development. In order to predict how people would perceive an acoustic environment, it is central to identify its underlying acoustic properties. This was the purpose of the present study. Three successive experiments were conducted. With the aid of 30 university students, the first experiment mapped the underlying dimensions of perceived similarity among 50 acoustic environments, using a visual sorting task of their spectrograms. Three dimensions were identified: (1) Distinguishable–Indistinguishable sound sources, (2) Background–Foreground sounds, and (3) Intrusive–Smooth sound sources. The second experiment was aimed to validate the results from Experiment 1 by a listening experiment. However, a majority of the 10 expert listeners involved in Experiment 2 used a qualitatively different approach than the 30 university students in Experiment 1. A third experiment was conducted in which 10 more expert listeners performed the same task as per Experiment 2, with spliced audio signals. Nevertheless, Experiment 3 provided a statistically significantly worse result than Experiment 2. These results suggest that information about the meaning of the recorded sounds could be retrieved in the spectrograms, and that the meaning of the sounds may be captured with the aid of holistic features of the acoustic environment, but such features are still unexplored and further in-depth research is needed in this field.

Type: Article
Title: Dimensions Underlying the Perceived Similarity of Acoustic Environments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01162
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01162
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 Aletta, Axelsson and Kang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: soundscape, perceived similarity, acoustic environment, PCA, listening experiment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043948
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