Schedule as of Oct 11, 2022 - subject to change

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Thursday, October 27 • 2:45pm - 3:00pm
Hearing Patterns, Otoacoustic Emissions, and Music Preferences

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Introduction: Why is the same sound or music perceived as soothing by some and irritating by others? Explaining variations in the perception of sound and the impact on music preferences would help design adapted acoustic experiences while limiting discomfort and audio fatigue. The objective of this research was to study the impact of hearing profiles on music preferences among adults.

Method:  The experimental group comprised 19 age-matched adults with no reported hearing issues. Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) were measured with Interacoustics OAE reader and subjects were grouped, based on their ability to amplify sound, into three hearing profiles (non-amplifiers, medium-amplifiers, and super-amplifiers). For a subgroup of each hearing profile, their favorite music tunes were analyzed using Audacity Plot Spectrum, tracing the intensity (in dB) for each frequency (in Hz) and highlighting the peaks of the tune. The spectrograms of the sets of tunes were then compared to the hearing patterns of the related hearing profiles.

Results: Some subjects heard the same sound 20 dB (four times) louder than others. Subjects tended to prefer music tunes having a peak in a frequency that they amplify less. If some subjects declared listening to various music genres, the spectrograms of the music tunes tended to have their peak in the same frequency range.

Discussion: The frequency rather than the music genre seems instrumental in predicting people's favorite tunes. Music preferences seem to present a negative correlation between the tune's peak and the listener's hearing pattern, as measured with OAEs. These findings might explain the variations in sound and music preferences and help adapt products and experiences in the field of consumer electronics, gaming, XR, and virtual worlds. Public transports and spaces might also improve citizens' well-being by designing more neutral, and better equalized, acoustic experiences in sensitive frequencies.

avatar for Diana Derval, PhD

Diana Derval, PhD

Chair, Chief Investigator, and Author, DervalResearch
My passion is to decode behavior and preferences using biosciences. People are rational they just have a very different perception of the same signal so we help product teams develop the right sensory mix!#perception #sound #immersive #preferences #music #direction #eSports #Metaverse... Read More →

Thursday October 27, 2022 2:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Online Papers
  Psychoacoustics and Perception
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