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Title On the Improvement of Auditory Accuracy with Non-Individualized HRTF-based Sounds
Author Catarina Mendonça, Guilherme Campos, Paulo Dias, José M. N. Vieira, João Ferreira, Jorge Santos
Journal Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
Volume 60
Number 10
Month October
Year 2012
DOI doi
Group (before 2015) Signal Processing Laboratory, Information Systems and Telematics Laboratory
Indexed by ISI Yes

Auralization is a powerful tool to increase the realism and sense of immersion in Virtual Reality environments. The Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) filters commonly used for auralization are non-individualized, as obtaining individualized HRTFs poses very serious practical difficulties. It is therefore extremely important to understand to what extent this hinders sound perception. In this paper we address this issue from a learning perspective. In a set of experiments, we observed that mere exposure to virtual sounds processed with generic HRTF did not improve the subjects’ performance in sound source localization, but short training periods involving active learning and feedback led to significantly better results. We propose that using auralization with non-individualized HRTF should always be preceded by a learning period.