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Human Interaction in Virtual Environments Lab
Department of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Hear: Elements of the Auditory Sense


The sense of hearing is also very developed, and humans are sensitive to temporal, spatial, and waveform characteristics of audio signals. Audio cues are omni-directional in the sense that the listener does not need to be facing in a certain direction to attend to the sound. A sound signal is made up of waves of varying frequency and amplitude. This makes the general use of sound attractive for alerts (e.g., the telephone ringing), as well as for information display (e.g., flight arrival information at an airport). The makeup of sound waves is very well understood, and the technology for producing many audio effects is very advanced, both for private and public displays. In terms of hearing pathologies, total or partial hearing loss and amusia (tone deafness) are the most common. Partial hearing loss, due to accident or aging, can often be treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Sign languages and lip reading are often used to compensate for hearing loss. Aging often brings on hearing loss.
We thank the following companies for their support:
[qnx] [ati]
[nvidia] [ageia]