Designing a new spatial test paradigm
The purpose of this student project was to address the need for alternative complex hearing-aid outcome measures. Instead of focusing on speech recognition or localisation of simple stimuli, we decided to create spatially complex auditory scenes consisting of multiple natural sounds. In particular, five scenes were created, all of which were based on six sounds sharing a common theme.
For example, a ‘zoo’ scene was created based on sounds from an elephant, a chimpanzee, a rattlesnake, a parrot, and a lion. The scenes were presented via multiple loudspeakers located in the frontal horizontal plane. The locations of the loudspeakers were displayed on a graphical user interface together with symbols of the sounds being presented. The number of concurrent sounds varied between three and five. The listeners had to identify the locations and identities of all presented sounds.