Auditory Motion Perception: Investigation of Benefit in Multi-Talker Environments
Davis, Timothy J
Motion, as a cue for creating a perceptual difference between a desired (i.e. target) signal and background noise (i.e. distracters), has been investigated previously with limited success. A new approach was taken to investigate whether motion, separate from spatial separation, could create a perceptual difference between talkers sufficient to enhance speech understanding in a multi-talker environment. In the first experiment, results showed that motion was not a helpful cue for speech understanding. Rather, a strong effect of talker position, relative to distracters was observed. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measurements were taken and confirmed a substantial SNR advantage when the target was presented from the side of the two distracters. In Experiment 2, additional spatial configurations and motion parameters were tested. In this experiment, motion was applied to all talkers in the listening scene, to simulate a head turn. Again, motion did not provide any benefit beyond the stationary control condition with the best SNR. However, there was again no evidence that motion was harmful. These results confirm that motion does not provide a pop-out effect, but also does not seem to harm speech understanding.