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Motion parallax serves as an independent cue in sound source disambiguation

MPS-Authors
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Dwarakanath,  A
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Parise,  C
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Hartcher-O'Brien,  J
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Ernst,  M
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Dwarakanath, A., Parise, C., Hartcher-O'Brien, J., & Ernst, M. (2012). Motion parallax serves as an independent cue in sound source disambiguation. In 13th Conference of the Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNA 2012): Science and Education as Social Transforming Agents (pp. 6).


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B57E-8
Abstract
In the absence of dominant cues to the distance of a sound source from the observer, estimating absolute or relative distance becomes difficult. Motion parallax may contribute to this estimation. However, its role as an independent cue has not yet been investigated. To address this issue, we designed an experiment that included logarithmically varying distance of sound source along the depth plane of the observer, elimination of distance related loudness using perceptual loudness equalization and to and fro (laterally) movement of subjects while the sounds were generated in three conditions a simultaneous playback, sequential playback and simultaneous playback of phase-interrupted sounds. Sequential presentation of the low and high sound subjects showed a substantial improvement in distance estimates relative to the baseline static condition. Improvement was also observed for the simultaneous phase interrupted sound condition. Here we demonstrate for the first time the existence of auditory motion parallax from lateral self- motion and show that it aids distance estimation of sound position. Interestingly, a bias to perceive low frequency sounds as farther away was also observed. Auditory depth perception is improved by lateral observer motion, which alters the inter-aural difference cues available.