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Opportunity at U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

Effect of Signal Processing on Auditory Spatial Perception

Location

MD, FL, and AL-Human Research & Engineering Directorate, Human Research and Engineering Directorate

RO# Location
76.27.01.B3129 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210055425

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Scharine, Angelique Anne angelique.a.scharine.civ@mail.mil 410.278.5957

Description

Increasingly, soldiers are being provided with radios and headsets for use with their radios. Because these headsets provide hearing protection from loud noises and some form of hearing restoration via externally mounted microphones, these tactical communications and protection systems (TCAPS) are viewed by many as a significant improvement. Soldiers, historically reluctant to wear hearing protection, may increase their compliance with hearing conservation guidelines if they are provided with communications capability. Further, the “ambient situation awareness” capability provided by the microphones is sometimes touted as “enhanced hearing” or as “combat hearing aids” because they allow the user to set the level and even provide some amplification. However, these devices also alter the cues used for auditory spatial perception. Most notably, the level of sounds passed through the headset from the ambient microphones is limited to prevent the user from being exposed to unsafe noise levels. This is achieved in various ways. The system can simply shut off and not transmit sounds above a certain intensity level. Or, it can compress the range of levels transmitted, passing lower levels through unchanged, but reducing the level as a function of intensity for higher levels. This compression changes the relative level cues that are the main source of distance perception cues. It is unknown the degree to which this occurs or the operational effect of such changes. The object of this research is to understand the degree to which sensitivity to distance cues is affected, the degree to which this is a function of experience, and the operational impact of such changes.

 

Keywords:
Aided sensory perception; Signal compression; Distance estimation;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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