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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Musical Experience and Hearing Loss on Solving an Audio-Based Gaming Task

by Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen 1,*,† and Rumi Hiraga 2,†
1
Sound and Music Computing, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lindstedsvägen 3, 11428 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Industrial Technology Department, Tsukuba University of Technology, 305-8520, Tsukuba, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Tapio Lokki
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121278
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 10 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Music Computing)
We conducted an experiment using a purposefully designed audio-based game called the Music Puzzle with Japanese university students with different levels of hearing acuity and experience with music in order to determine the effects of these factors on solving such games. A group of hearing-impaired students (n = 12) was compared with two hearing control groups with the additional characteristic of having high (n = 12) or low (n = 12) engagement in musical activities. The game was played with three sound sets or modes; speech, music, and a mix of the two. The results showed that people with hearing loss had longer processing times for sounds when playing the game. Solving the game task in the speech mode was found particularly difficult for the group with hearing loss, and while they found the game difficult in general, they expressed a fondness for the game and a preference for music. Participants with less musical experience showed difficulties in playing the game with musical material. We were able to explain the impacts of hearing acuity and musical experience; furthermore, we can promote this kind of tool as a viable way to train hearing by focused listening to sound, particularly with music. View Full-Text
Keywords: audio games; educational tools; audio signal processing; computer interfaces; music cognition; perception; training; language audio games; educational tools; audio signal processing; computer interfaces; music cognition; perception; training; language
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Hansen, K.F.; Hiraga, R. The Effects of Musical Experience and Hearing Loss on Solving an Audio-Based Gaming Task. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1278.

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