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Looming sounds benefit emergency braking due to their saliency

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

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Chuang,  L
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lahmer, M., Chuang, L., & Seibold, V. (2018). Looming sounds benefit emergency braking due to their saliency. Poster presented at 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2018), Marburg, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6656-6
Abstract
Braking responses are faster when drivers hear looming sounds that increase in intensity, relative to sounds with constant intensity (Gray, 2011). This finding agrees with research that has shown preferential neural processing for looming stimuli (e.g., Tyll et al., 2013). It remains unknown if the looming benefit reported by Gray (2011) was due to the perceived saliency of looming sounds, or as a result of their ability to re-direct attention away from vehicle control to braking. The current study was conducted in a driving simulation for a vehicle with automated lateral and longitudinal control. Participants were only required to perform emergency braking if the lead vehicle suddenly braked. We found fastest braking times when these instances were accompanied by a looming sound (M=825 ms), relative to a constant sound (M=844 ms), or no sound (M=1098 ms; F(1.29, 23.3)=200, p<.05, ?2=0.9). There was no significant difference in false brakings induced by looming and constant sounds (t(18)=.57, p=.58). Thus, we find that looming sounds facilitate braking without increasing a bias for braking. This work demonstrates that looming sounds can hasten braking directly, even in the absence of task-switching. We discuss the implications of this work to auditory warning design.