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An Auditory Illusion of Proximity of the Source Induced by Sonic Crystals.

By Ignacio Spiousas, Pablo E Etchemendy, Ramiro O Vergara, Esteban R Calcagno and Manuel C Eguia


In this work we report an illusion of proximity of a sound source created by a sonic crystal placed between the source and a listener. This effect seems, at first, paradoxical to naïve listeners since the sonic crystal is an obstacle formed by almost densely packed cylindrical scatterers. Even when the singular acoustical properties of these periodic composite materials have been studied extensively (including band gaps, deaf bands, negative refraction, and birrefringence), the possible perceptual effects remain unexplored. The illusion reported here is studied through acoustical measurements and a psychophysical experiment. The results of the acoustical measurements showed that, for a certain frequency range and region in space where the focusing phenomenon takes place, the sonic crystal induces substantial increases in binaural intensity, direct-to-reverberant energy ratio and interaural cross-correlation values, all cues involved in the auditory perception of distance. Consistently, the results of the psychophysical experiment revealed that the presence of the sonic crystal between the sound source and the listener produces a significant reduction of the perceived relative distance to the sound source

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133271
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