Next Article in Journal
Improved Distributed Minimum Variance Distortionless Response (MVDR) Beamforming Method Based on a Local Average Consensus Algorithm for Bird Audio Enhancement in Wireless Acoustic Sensor Networks
Previous Article in Journal
Damage Assessment of Porcelain Insulators through Principal Component Analysis Associated with Frequency Response Signals
Open AccessArticle

Measuring the Behavioral Response to Spatial Audio within a Multi-Modal Virtual Reality Environment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1
Communications & Signal Processing Research Group, Department of Electronic Engineering, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
2
York Music Psychology Group, Music Science and Technology Research Cluster, Department of Music, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Communications & Signal Processing Research Group, Department of Electronic Engineering, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(15), 3152; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9153152
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Computing and Artificial Intelligence)
Virtual Reality (VR) has been an active area of research in the development of interactive interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for over two decades. These immersive environments create a safe platform in which therapy can address the core symptoms associated with this condition. Recent advancements in spatial audio rendering techniques for VR now allow for the creation of realistic audio environments that accurately match their visual counterparts. However, reported auditory processing impairments associated with autism may affect how an individual interacts with their virtual therapy application. This study aims to investigate if these difficulties in processing audio information would directly impact how individuals with autism interact with a presented virtual spatial audio environment. Two experiments were conducted with participants diagnosed with ASD (n = 29) that compared: (1) behavioral reaction between spatialized and non-spatialized audio; and (2) the effect of background noise on participant interaction. Participants listening to binaural-based spatial audio showed higher spatial attention towards target auditory events. In addition, the amount of competing background audio was reported to influence spatial attention and interaction. These findings suggest that despite associated sensory processing difficulties, those with ASD can correctly decode the auditory cues simulated in current spatial audio rendering techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders; virtual reality; auditory processing; assistive technology; tools for therapy; multi-sensory; spatial audio; ambisonics autism spectrum disorders; virtual reality; auditory processing; assistive technology; tools for therapy; multi-sensory; spatial audio; ambisonics
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Johnston, D.; Egermann, H.; Kearney, G. Measuring the Behavioral Response to Spatial Audio within a Multi-Modal Virtual Reality Environment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 3152.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
Back to TopTop