The role of spectral- and temporal-envelope room-acoustic cues in auditory selective attention
Makin, S., Watkins, A. and Raimond, A. (2009) The role of spectral- and temporal-envelope room-acoustic cues in auditory selective attention. In: 158th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America , October 26-30, 2009, San Antonio, USA, p. 2242.
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1121/1.3249218
Listeners can attend to one of several simultaneous messages by tracking one speaker’s voice characteristics. Using differences in the location of sounds in a room, we ask how well cues arising from spatial position compete with these characteristics. Listeners decided which of two simultaneous target words belonged in an attended “context” phrase when it was played simultaneously with a different “distracter” context. Talker difference was in competition with position difference, so the response indicates which cue‐type the listener was tracking. Spatial position was found to override talker difference in dichotic conditions when the talkers are similar (male). The salience of cues associated with differences in sounds, bearings decreased with distance between listener and sources. These cues are more effective binaurally. However, there appear to be other cues that increase in salience with distance between sounds. This increase is more prominent in diotic conditions, indicating that these cues are largely monaural. Distances between spectra calculated using a gammatone filterbank (with ERB‐spaced CFs) of the room’s impulse responses at different locations were computed, and comparison with listeners’ responses suggested some slight monaural loudness cues, but also monaural “timbre” cues arising from the temporal‐ and spectral‐envelope differences in the speech from different locations.