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A laboratory study of the sound-odour interaction in urban environments

Ba, M; Kang, J; (2019) A laboratory study of the sound-odour interaction in urban environments. Building and Environment , 147 pp. 314-326. 10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.10.019. Green open access

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Abstract

This study investigated the interaction of sound and odour in urban environments. Sound and odour perception as well as overall perception were evaluated by 168 participants through a laboratory experiment, where different sounds and odours were selected, each with three levels. The results showed that, in the evaluation of sound, odour had little effect on evaluations of birdsong and low-volume sound, whereas for the rest of the conditions, higher odour concentration resulted in a more positive evaluation. The odour evaluation showed that, with increase of volume, odour evaluation became more negative, and for such results traffic and conversation sounds had the greatest effects. For the overall evaluation, in the presence of birdsong and low-volume sound, the overall evaluation was unaffected by odour; for other combinations of sound and odour, with increased concentration, the overall evaluation improved. Moreover, the similarities and differences in the evaluations of sound and odour showed an analogous trend of sensory comfort and preference due to their high correlation coefficient—a positive sensory stimulus can improve the evaluation of other senses, while a negative one has the opposite effect. There is a masking effect between audition and olfaction that is reflected in the finding that when one stimulus is stronger, the other has weaker perceptual intensity; however, sensory familiarity does not change. Furthermore, the relationship between sensory evaluation and overall evaluation showed that for overall comfort, the effect of sound was stronger than odour, while for congruency, the effects of sound and odour were almost equal.

Type: Article
Title: A laboratory study of the sound-odour interaction in urban environments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.10.019
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.10.019
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Sound, Odour, Audio-olfactory interaction, Multisensory evaluations
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/10062453
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