“Efficacy of a new spatial ear training program for Ensemble width and Individual source width” (2016)

Presented at 5th Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and Acoustical Society of Japan

Hidetaka Imamura, Sungyoung Kim

The authors have devised a matching-based training paradigm that assists listeners in evaluating spatial width of a reproduced sound field with increased sensitivity and memory.  The program uses a learning paradigm of repeated comparison and match to references. All sound sources were horizontally spread using a pairwise constant power panning law over front five loudspeakers located at +-60, +-30, and 0 degree. Trainees were asked to adjust a parameter controlling the panning intervals of five-channel sound sources until it matched to the perceived width of a given reference. The program provided visual feedback for isomorphic mapping. To make the training equipment more accessible, the headphone version of the program was also developed using a simulation of listener and sound sources positions in a room. 30 participants were divided into three groups: a group with loudspeaker-based training, a group with headphone-based training, and a group without training. Participants in the trained groups took 6 days training program with 3 to 5 sessions in a day. The difference between reported and presented intervals before and after the training were measured. The analyzed results showed that regardless of training method (loudspeaker- or headphone-based), trained groups showed improvement in their matching precision.