Localization of Moving Sound Sources In Virtual Reality Technology
To localize sounds, the brain uses differences in sound phase and amplitude between the ears; however these cues can lead to ambiguity in localization. In 1940, Hans Wallach discovered an illusion in which a sound source appears stationary when it moves at twice the angular velocity of head rotation.
Recent advances in virtual-reality (VR) technology have allowed us to recreate this illusion using headphones and a VR headset. We are using this system to investigate how the brain handles ambiguity in perception of dynamic auditory scenes. We can also investigate practical problems that may arise when simulating moving sound sources in virtual or augmented reality situations.
* Indicates faculty mentor