Binaural Audition

A special issue of Acoustics (ISSN 2624-599X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 13594

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College, University of the Highlands and Islands, Thurso KW14 7EE, Scotland, UK
Interests: binaural localization; sonar imaging of the seabed; colour (multi-frequency) sonar

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the generally more under-appreciated wonders of nature is that vertebrates make sense of the acoustic environment in which they are immersed through the utilization of just two listening antennae (ears). Human engineers would be (and are) more inclined to employ a two-dimensional array of antennae as a basis for analysing and understanding incident sound.  

Contributions are invited for a Special Issue of Acoustics on all aspects of Binaural Audition including: mathematical models; bio-physical models; human and animal experimental observations; binaural robotics; audio-reproduction; approaches to localization; binaural aspects of natural sonar systems (like those in bats, whales, dolphins, shrews); and, reviews. Also included are the spectral effects on acoustic signal entering the ear due to a so called, Pinna or Head Related Transfer Function which, whilst considered to be largely a monaural phenomenon, occurs in the context of binaural audition.

Dr. Duncan Tamsett
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • binaural audition
  • binaural localization
  • bio-physical models
  • robotic audition
  • audio-reproduction
  • pinna related transfer function
  • head related transfer function
  • natural binaural sonar

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 3659 KiB  
Article
Simulation-Based Study on Round Window Atresia by Using a Straight Cochlea Model with Compressible Perilymph
by Wenjia Hong and Yasushi Horii
Acoustics 2022, 4(2), 345-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4020021 - 6 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3112
Abstract
The sound stimulus received by the pinna is transmitted to the oval window of the inner ear via the outer ear and middle ear. Assuming that the perilymph in the scala vestibuli and scala tympani is compressible, we report that the sound wave [...] Read more.
The sound stimulus received by the pinna is transmitted to the oval window of the inner ear via the outer ear and middle ear. Assuming that the perilymph in the scala vestibuli and scala tympani is compressible, we report that the sound wave generated in the cochlea due to the vibration of the oval window can be expressed by the combination of even and odd symmetric sound wave modes. Based on this new approach, this paper studies the cause of hearing deterioration in the lower frequency region seen in round window atresia from the viewpoint of cochlear acoustics. Round window atresia is an auditory disease in which the round window is ossified and its movement is restricted. Using the finite element method, a round window atresia model was designed and the acoustic behavior of the round window was discussed corresponding to the level of disease. From this, we report that the healthy round window works as a free-end reflector to the incident sound waves, but it also works as a fixed-end reflector in the case of round window atresia. Next, we incorporated the round window atresia model into a cochlear model and performed a simulation in order to determine the acoustic aspects of the cochlea as a whole. The simulation results indicate that hearing deterioration occurs in a lower frequency range, which is also coincident with the clinical reports (hearing deterioration of approximately 10 to 20 dB below 4000 Hz). Finally, we explain that the cause of hearing deterioration due to round window atresia is considered to be the even sound wave mode enlarging due to the fixed-end reflection at the ossified round window, and, as a result, the odd sound wave mode that generates the Békésy’s traveling wave on a basilar membrane is significantly weakened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binaural Audition)
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15 pages, 3416 KiB  
Article
Contribution of Even/Odd Sound Wave Modes in Human Cochlear Model on Excitation of Traveling Waves and Determination of Cochlear Input Impedance
by Wenjia Hong and Yasushi Horii
Acoustics 2022, 4(1), 168-182; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4010011 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3257
Abstract
Based on the Navier–Stokes equation for compressible media, this work studies the acoustic properties of a human cochlear model, in which the scala vestibuli and scala tympani are filled with compressible perilymph. Since the sound waves propagate as a compression wave in perilymph, [...] Read more.
Based on the Navier–Stokes equation for compressible media, this work studies the acoustic properties of a human cochlear model, in which the scala vestibuli and scala tympani are filled with compressible perilymph. Since the sound waves propagate as a compression wave in perilymph, this model can precisely handle the wave–based phenomena. Time domain analysis showed that a sound wave (fast wave) first propagates in the scala vestibuli and scala tympani, and then, a traveling wave (slow wave) is generated by the sound wave with some delay. Detailed studies based on even and odd mode analysis indicate that an odd mode sound wave, that is, the difference in the sound pressures between the scala vestibuli and scala tympani, excites the Békésy’s traveling wave, while an even mode sound determines the input impedance of the cochlea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binaural Audition)
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12 pages, 1197 KiB  
Article
Binaural Synthetic Aperture Imaging of the Field of Audition as the Head Rotates and Localisation Perception of Monophonic Sound Listened to through Headphones
by Duncan Tamsett
Acoustics 2021, 3(4), 723-734; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics3040046 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2770
Abstract
A human listening to monophonic sound through headphones perceives the sound to emanate from a point inside the head at the auditory centre at effectively zero range. The extent to which this is predicted by synthetic-aperture calculation performed in response to head rotation [...] Read more.
A human listening to monophonic sound through headphones perceives the sound to emanate from a point inside the head at the auditory centre at effectively zero range. The extent to which this is predicted by synthetic-aperture calculation performed in response to head rotation is explored. The instantaneous angle between the auditory axis and the acoustic source, lambda, for the zero inter-aural time delay imposed by headphones is 90°. The lambda hyperbolic cone simplifies to the auditory median plane, which intersects a spherical surface centred on the auditory centre, along a prime meridian lambda circle. In a two-dimensional (2-D) synthetic-aperture computation, points of intersection of all lambda circles as the head rotates constitute solutions to the directions to acoustic sources. Geometrically, lambda circles cannot intersect at a point representing the auditory centre; nevertheless, 2-D synthetic aperture images for a pure turn of the head and for a pure lateral tilt yield solutions as pairs of points on opposite sides of the head. These can reasonably be interpreted to be perceived at the sums of the position vectors of the pairs of points on the acoustic image, i.e., at the auditory centre. But, a turn of the head on which a fixed lateral tilt of the auditory axis is concomitant (as in species of owl) yields a 2-D synthetic-aperture image without solution. However, extending a 2-D synthetic aperture calculation to a three-dimensional (3-D) calculation will generate a 3-D acoustic image of the field of audition that robustly yields the expected solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binaural Audition)
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12 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
The Binaural Illusion of Wallach (1940) Apparent in Synthetic Aperture Images of the Field of Audition Generated as the Head Turns
by Duncan Tamsett
Acoustics 2021, 3(2), 297-308; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics3020020 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3133
Abstract
Wallach (J. Exp. Psychol. 1940, 27, 339–368) predicted that a human subject rotating about a vertical axis through the auditory centre, having an acoustic source rotating around the same axis at twice the rotation rate of the human subject, would perceive the [...] Read more.
Wallach (J. Exp. Psychol. 1940, 27, 339–368) predicted that a human subject rotating about a vertical axis through the auditory centre, having an acoustic source rotating around the same axis at twice the rotation rate of the human subject, would perceive the acoustic source to be stationary. His prediction, which he confirmed by experiment, was made to test the hypothesis that humans integrate head movement information that is derived from the vestibular system and visual cues, with measurements of arrival time differences between the acoustic signals received at the ears, to determine directions to acoustic sources. The simulation experiments described here demonstrate that a synthetic aperture calculation performed as the head turns, to determine the direction to an acoustic source (Tamsett, Robotics 2017, 6, 10), is also subject to the Wallach illusion. This constitutes evidence that human audition deploys a synthetic aperture process in which a virtual image of the field of audition is populated as the head turns, and from which directions to acoustic sources are inferred. The process is akin to those in synthetic aperture sonar/radar technologies and to migration in seismic profiler image processing. It could be implemented in a binaural robot localizing acoustic sources from arrival time differences in emulation of an aspect of human audition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binaural Audition)
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