Effect of spatial location and presentation rate on the reaction to auditory displays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spatial location and speed with which auditory displays are presented can significantly impact the way they are attended to by a listener. This article discusses a study of the principal spatio-temporal factors and their influence on the redirection of attention to auditory displays. Factors studied include presentation speed, stimulus externalization, and location in the three-dimensional space. Twenty-five subjects participated in a categorization task where auditory displays were presented at various rates and spatial locations. Subjects' response times and accuracy were recorded. Results show that stimuli perceived inside the head result in a more accurate and faster response than those that were externalized. For externalized auditory displays, those presented in the frontal hemisphere were attended to faster. Response times did not change linearly with presentation speed, rather, there was an optimal presentation rate at which the response time is fastest without compromising accuracy. These results have important implications on the design of auditory displays, particularly for applications requiring high levels of attentiveness, or where multiple streams of information are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalAES: Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Music


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