Changes in orientation behavior due to extended high-frequency (5-10 kHz) spatial cues

Whitmer, W. M. , McShefferty, D., Levy, S. C., Naylor, G. and Edwards, B. (2021) Changes in orientation behavior due to extended high-frequency (5-10 kHz) spatial cues. Ear and Hearing, 43(2), pp. 545-553. (doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000001113) (PMID:34432670) (PMCID:PMC8862772)

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Objectives: Current hearing aids have a limited bandwidth, which limits the intelligibility and quality of their output, and inhibits their uptake. Recent advances in signal processing, as well as novel methods of transduction, allow for a greater useable frequency range. Previous studies have shown a benefit for this extended bandwidth in consonant recognition, talker-sex identification, and separating sound sources. To explore whether there would be any direct spatial benefits to extending bandwidth, we used a dynamic localization method in a realistic situation. Design: Twenty-eight adult participants with minimal hearing loss reoriented themselves as quickly and accurately as comfortable to a new, off-axis near-field talker continuing a story in a background of far-field talkers of the same overall level in a simulated large room with common building materials. All stimuli were low-pass filtered at either 5 or 10 kHz on each trial. To further simulate current hearing aids, participants wore microphones above the pinnae and insert earphones adjusted to provide a linear, zero-gain response. Results: Each individual trajectory was recorded with infra-red motion-tracking and analyzed for accuracy, duration, start time, peak velocity, peak velocity time, complexity, reversals, and misorientations. Results across listeners showed a significant increase in peak velocity and significant decrease in start and peak velocity time with greater (10 kHz) bandwidth. Conclusions: These earlier, swifter orientations demonstrate spatial benefits beyond static localization accuracy in plausible conditions; extended bandwidth without pinna cues provided more salient cues in a realistic mixture of talkers.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was partially funded by the Earlens Corporation. This work was supported by funding from the Medical Research Council [grant number MR/S003576/1]; and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government.
Keywords:psychoacoustics, spatial hearing, orientation behaviour, audiology, kinesics.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitmer, Dr William and McShefferty, Mr David and Naylor, Dr Graham
Authors: Whitmer, W. M., McShefferty, D., Levy, S. C., Naylor, G., and Edwards, B.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Research Group:Hearing Sciences - Scottish Section
Journal Name:Ear and Hearing
Journal Abbr.:Ear Hear
Publisher:Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
ISSN (Online):1538-4667
Published Online:09 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ear and Hearing 43(2):545-553
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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